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A dear friend of mine, Peg Demetris, wrote the following reflection and graciously agreed to let me post it to my blog. As we prepare our hearts to make room for the Christ-Child, let us not miss out on the greatest gift of all:

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For my birthday this year, my husband bought me my first crucifix pendant. I had been pondering getting one for some time. I had been given many crosses throughout my lifetime but never had a crucifix to wear around my neck.

When I was born, as a gift to me, my namesake from Slovakia, Great Auntie Margaret, sent a cross and chain to my mother for me. It was beautiful. I was only allowed to wear it for pictures and on Easter and special holidays. It was 18 carat gold. It was a very special reminder to me that someone, whom I was named after, thought of my soul.

One day in my rebellious teens, when wearing gold was the in thing to do, I asked my mother if I could wear it all the time because after all, It was MINE! She gave it to me and said be careful, you can’t replace that one. It wasn’t long after that, I lost it while running across a busy street and the chain it was on broke. The chain and the cross on it, gone do to the weight of the other items around my neck that accompanied it. Items today, I consider junk.

While growing out of the rebellious teens, I had been given gifts of many crosses from various people. Some nice, some expensive but looking back, never a crucifix. Strange really, since I was Catholic, but never thought about it until this year. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all the gifts given, but something was missing.

While walking through the Exchange at MCAS Miramar, a few days before my birthday, passing the jewelery counter, I stopped. Mind you, I’m not a “Bling” girl. What captured my eye, was a tiny little gold crucifix. I smiled, looked at my husband and told him, please buy this for me for my birthday. And he did. When the women took it out of the glass display case, I felt a sense of finality. I finally had my crucifix. Which couldn’t be further from the truth when you read on. She then told me that it was 18 carat gold. My jaw hit the ground in amazement. I was immediately brought back to the first cross I received at birth. The one that could not be replaced. After all, 18 carat gold is not easy to find here in the US. I smiled and knew, this was the one.

Several days after my birthday, I still had not put on that tiny little crucifix. I wanted to have it blessed before I put it on an older chain to wear it. Finally, on Sunday December 12, the Third Sunday of Advent, Gaudete Sunday, I was able to have my tiny little crucifix blessed. “Rejoice in the Lord always”

Today, just a day before Christmas Eve, I received another gift because of the gift of that tiny little gold crucifix. As I ponder the thought of Christmas and our Lord’s birth. I find myself lately only able to ponder His life in regards to the full circle. The reason He was born and the fullness of that ultimate gift to each soul on earth.

The “Material Crucifix” I now have, I am reminded of the reason I never had one before hanging around my neck. I always had the real one. I was just to blind to see it. The day I was baptized, I received it. The day we are all baptized, we receive it. Its a gift I had taken for granted for so many years. A gift I tossed aside, digging to see if there was more. Not fully comprehending this gift I can only now embrace His gift, under His tree and thank Him for it.

Every gift we receive, everything is a gift,has a meaning and the meaning behind it is the true gift.

This year and for all the years to come, I ask everyone to ponder the real reason for this ultimate gift. I beg you to not set it aside. Treasure the gift of our Lord. He can never be replaced.

God Bless and Merry Christmas.

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