Published: December 2006
by Tom Cronin
As we sat before our Christmas tree I watched with delight as our family opened their gifts. There was a sweater for Anthony, a wallet for Uncle Paul, an LV handbag for Lori, a Nintendo WII for Matt and a Hopkido outfit for Dan, but there was an unopened box in the corner for a special guest who was not here.
We seem to have forgotten why we were celebrating this day.
We speak of courage and its qualities: bravery, selfless sacrificing, amazing grace, noble actions and someone of super human abilities. A hero is a protagonist who is good and noble, who no matter what the odds prevails in the end. We the readers feel the pangs of the hero’s defeats and the joy to relish in their triumphs.
We think of heroes of the past: Odysseus, Hercules, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Edison, Susan B. Anthony, FDR, Winston Churchill, JFK, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa are all heroes to name a few. Each person or character exemplifies what a hero with courage should be. Some tragic heroes died for their cause and are honored because of their fight to the finish.
The greatest hero of all time is celebrated this holiday season. He was a great man who fought not with a sword as some of his people wanted him to do, but with his desire to share his message of brotherly love and peace. He said to turn the other cheek when someone has wronged you, to obey the Ten Commandments and to treat your neighbor as you would like to be treated. He was a man of forgiveness and grace. He fed the poor, healed the sick, and gave all that he had. He gave his life for us to exemplify his desire to serve his fellow man. “For scarcely for a righteous man would one die, yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die?” He died for what he believed in and for us. He set an example for all of us to follow over 2000 years ago. He has had over a billion copies of his book sold telling his story. But for whatever reason we celebrate his day of birth in a commercial way of giving gifts to one another and forgetting his gifts to us.
This holiday season remember the greatest man who ever lived. Share with one less fortunate than you, forgive that wretched brother and sinful son, and help a stranger with their needs. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.
We are only here for a short while. What we do on this earth will determine where we spend eternity. Have the courage to reach out and help someone in need and to share your blessings this holiday season.