Last night at Mass for the fourth Sunday of Advent,the deacon offered this:what acts of love,of kindness have you offered this Advent.Are you ready for the Coming of the Lord of Gifts ?I was struck by this ,the labelling of kindnesses as ornaments and I see it in my mind.
This Christmas tree stands with bare bone white limbs on a strong stately trunk.Lifted high to the heavens on these filigreed branches are shining puffs of light the size of regular round ornaments but ephemeral.They turn in the winter breeze emitting colored sparks of light -yellow,green,pink,violet.And the sky reaches down to scoop them up for the eternal pleasure of the angels and all of heaven.
Tomorrow,my husband will deliver Communion to a hospice resident whose daughter worked for him thirty years ago.Then, to a church friend who he drives to doctor's appointments.On the way to my son's house, we will stop at his elderly, chess playing friend's apartment and drop off his favorite foods-thin sliced bread,brown bread,smoked salmon and spumoni.Ornaments.
In one of the cards we received this season,we learned of the death of the father of a New York friend.We dug out a photo we took of them both two years ago,had a copy made, and sent that off.I will call him Christmas morning to tell him how sorry I am.And I am, terribly ,as I know how close they were.
To a nephew's small daughter, a singing card with pop out figures.When she opened it she said:"How did she know I liked singing cards?"I have never met her but as I passed the Christmas cards,a whisper and I knew.Ornament.
I don't think we are alone in this ornament production.How lovely to know that nothing can ever break or erase these hanging acts of love.