That is something that simply cannot be denied. If we love, we give and give generously from our hearts from our substance and not from our surplus. God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son. Jesus so loved us that He gave us His life totally and completely. Advent of course is a time of preparation, a time to prepare ourselves to celebrate the birth of Christ. But it is more than that; it more than getting ready for a birthday party. It is about becoming more like Him so that we might be ready to celebrate an eternity with Him in Heaven. In order to do that we need to allow ourselves to grow to become people who love and who give-like He and the Father love and give. Hopefully we all have experienced the joy that giving of ourselves brings back to us. Nothing makes me feel better than when I know that I have truly sacrificed for the good of another. When we reflect on those who we respect in life, we undoubtedly bring to mind people who have given tremendously of themselves to us. No one is ever honored for how much they have taken, but many are honored for what they have given. Yet we hold ourselves back from giving. Why? Maybe it is because we are afraid. We are afraid that we can’t give anything away because then we won’t have enough for ourselves. So we hold on to everything and become misers. And misers are miserable. Or maybe we are afraid of being taken advantage of. We are afraid that if we give something to someone they will use our gift improperly so we use that as a justification for not giving. Or maybe we simply are takers. We can only think of what we can get out of a given situation. Maybe we are somewhere in between; maybe we will give if we have a reasonable assurance that we will get something of equal value back in return. A true giver does not worry about what they may or may not get back in return. They only look to help others. Folks, that’s how we make straight the way of the Lord, by making our hearts like His. Not too long ago, I was talking like this to someone right after Mass and he said, “So Father, what you are saying is that we can buy our way into Heaven.” And I said, “No, but I do think that just maybe we can give our way in.” And there is a big difference.