Posted December 17, 2014 in Advent and Christmas:
Christmas in Our Houses: MH Arizona 2013

by Kathy McVady.

As I was dropping off one of the many plates of Christmas cookies we deliver to friends, benefactors, and the sick and elderly, someone asked me, "Did you hear about the miracle at our Walmart?" I listened as she told the story.

A day or two before, an unknown man walked into our local Walmart [a discount store] and asked for customer service. He proceeded there and asked the store manager for the total of all the money due on lay-away merchandise.* It came to several thousand dollars. He paid the bill and left.

Then people around town began receiving phone calls from Wal-Mart saying they could pick up their lay-away merchandise. Someone had paid for it!

From there, the unknown benefactor proceeded to the police station where the officers regularly collect money for an organization called, "Toys for Tots." Again, he left a sizeable donation, which sent the officers scrambling to purchase gifts and get the names of families whose children were about to have a happier Christmas.

The police chief, who is also a minister, explained to his congregation that Sunday that he has always seen our town of Winslow as a microcosm of the universe, and that the good that was so generously spread throughout our community was simply a sign of all the unknown and unheralded goodness spreading throughout our world: Where sin abounds, grace abounds further (Rom 5:20).

Later I was made aware that there is a whole movement, called "Pay It Forward," in which people quietly perform unsolicited good deeds: ranging from paying for the coffee of the person behind them in line at Starbucks to paying bills anonymously at discount department stores.

Of course, this sort of thing all began with Divine Goodness entering into the darkness of our world as a tiny cell dividing in the Virgin womb and being born in the hidden stable unrecognized by all except his mother, his foster father, and a few straggling shepherds.

He entering this world as the Light that the darkness cannot overcome, the Light that quietly inspires people to perform random acts of kindness.

Of course, we at Madonna House, are the recipients of many acts of kindness during the Advent-Christmas Season as well as throughout the year.

In our living room stands our fresh green Christmas tree, which is faithfully harvested in the forest for us each year by a quiet, humble man and decorated with lights which someone else gave us. And in winter we are kept warm by the wood brought to us by still others.

Tamales, posole (festive Mexican foods), candy, cookies, meats, donations of all kinds, come through our doors, and we are able then to share with so many.

Before Christmas, we joined with the recently formed post-Confirmation youth group for caroling at the nursing home, at the hospital, and at the homes of some elderly people.

Their sacramental preparations completed, they now want to serve—even when they have to scramble to finish work, homework, and sports practice in order to do so. Some of the young people have begun to do a reading at Mass, and are helping with the music for the children’s Christmas Mass.

One of the children in our Montessori catechism class came with her mother to bring us fruit, cookies, and a couple of poinsettia plants. As she helped Christina Milan bring the flowers to the chapel, she pointed to the Bible on the ambo and said, "I know why that book is gold: it’s the most specialest book in the world!"

I bring you news of great joy, a joy to be shared with all the people (Lk 2:10).


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