Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.
Angel Alatriz doesn’t have much.
Well, actually — he’s got a loving family and a huge heart — so he’s got everything important. But he doesn’t have much stuff. So you’d think that he’d be looking forward to Christmas — finally gonna get some stuff.
You might think that. You’d be wrong.
Well, not entirely wrong. In truth, he is looking forward to Christmas. But that’s mostly so he can give away as much stuff as he can possibly collect. He’s fulfilling a proud family tradition by collecting toys for other children. He’s working with a group that helps foster families and has a list of more than 200 kids — naughty, nice, it don’t matter. He wants to knock on 200 doors and personally give those kids toys — so they know someone loves them — because they’re kids and they need that, whether they happen to be born in a manger or not.
Angel and his family do this every year — a Christmas tradition. Last year, they collected 40 boxes.
They were going along pretty good this year, when some jerk made off with a whole box full of toys. We hope he’s going to distribute the toys to homeless children or something — but it did kind of cast a shadow.
But here’s the thing. Angel doesn’t have to feel bad.
Remember whose Birthday we’re all celebrating. Remember what He said: Love thy neighbor. Love even the thieves and the lost souls — and most especially the children. Besides, we have a feeling that presents for foster kids are just like loaves and fishes when you know how to pray — and how to love.
In the meantime, we thank Angel for the reminder. “Now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.”
So it turns out, we don’t need any more stuff.
Because we have Angel and the children — for such is the kingdom of heaven.
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:17-18