Be the light this Christmas season

Simply stewardship
Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at: lesleknop@archkck.org

by Lesle Knop

My kids don’t write in complete sentences in their text messages to me. They use emojis. They use stickers and cartoons of themselves. A happy face. A winking, kissy face. Brevity is the soul of wit. I’m telling u.

This month, they shared a social media post of the typical list most of us carry during the hectic season of Advent with a few meaningful stewardship-worthy edits. Thumbs up.

  • “Buy Presents,” was changed to “Be Present.”
  • “Wrap Gifts” became “Wrap Someone in a Hug.”
  • Instead of “Send Gifts,” “Send Love.”
  • When it’s time to “Shop for Food,” remember to “Donate Food.”
  • If you’re going to “Make Cookies,” try to “Make Memories” instead.
  • “See the Lights” was changed to “Be the Light.”

The last item is my favorite. It reminds me of passages from Scripture:

  • “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16).
  • “The earth was a formless void. . . . Then God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Gn 1:2a, 3).
  • “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’” (Jn 8:12).

As we prepare for the nativity of Our Lord this week, let’s be the light and give our love to others generously from a Christian spirit. We have been blessed with the greatest gift of all.

“Christ is the sun that came into the world to dispel the darkness of evil and flood it with the splendor of divine love,” said St. John Paul in his homily on the solemnity of the Epiphany in 2002.

If you receive a text message from me in the next few weeks, you might see inserted a tiny symbol of a shining star: shorthand during the Christmas season to remind myself to be the light for others. Be the light. Star. Exclamation mark.

As I reflect on 2017, I am immensely proud of the accomplishments of the good people with whom I work in the stewardship and development office and the Catholic Foundation of Northeast Kansas, along with our volunteer board members and our clergy advisers.

The Archbishop’s Call to Share donors set a record in gifts and membership in the Crosier Society.

We introduced the first “Duc in Altum” regional juried art exhibition and competition and sponsored the first #iGiveCatholic on Giving Tuesday for our archdiocese. The Catholic Legacy Society membership set a record, too.

On behalf of all of us, I hope you experience abundant Christmas joy and a very happy new year.

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