Gratitude as we rush to make Christmas

The tomato sauce is cooking and has been for 15 hours.  it is time to slice, weep, bread and fry the eggplant. The fresh mozzarella is sitting on the counter ready to make the dish all smooth and delicious.

At the same time I am packing a box for the homeless ministry in our parish.  The clergy are not giving gifts to each other for Christmas, but are rather giving gifts to the women to whom the church extends hospitality on Monday nights. So I am assembling a box with things we have been told would be helpful gifts to receive.

Being caught in this vortex between bounty and scarcity is a valuable thing for contemplation.  I am not homeless.  I have food and a warm home. I have a dog whose unconditional love is never more than a few inches away.  I have work which I am good at doing and which I enjoy.  And I have friends who love me.

But we are all one to five choices away from being homeless and we are all one to three events away from it as well.

Thanksgiving day was cold and I remember driving by a homeless and hungry man on the street corner and wondering what connection, if any, that had to the glamorous worship service towards which I was making my way.

Gratitude is the Exlax of generosity.


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