.- A successful Advent initiative in Washington, D.C., is urging people to use the true meaning of the Christmas season to learn more about the Catholic faith and grow closer to Christ.
In an online video, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, D.C., reflected that “when we think of Christmas, we think of gifts,” because gift-giving is “one of the ways in which we show our love for the people around us.”
“We are always looking for the right gift, the perfect gift,” he observed. “Christmas is all about that great and perfect gift that is Jesus Christ.”
To aid people in remembering that Christmas is an invitation to celebrate Christ’s birth and grow in a relationship with him, the archdiocese is continuing its “Find the Perfect Gift” and “Regalo Perfecto” initiatives that were successfully debuted during Advent last year.
The campaigns invite holiday shoppers in the D.C. area to remember the real meaning of Christmas and to enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus.
The archdiocese will distribute 10,000 yard and window signs announcing the initiative at the beginning of Advent on Dec. 2.
These websites offer information in English and Spanish on the Catholic faith, video testimonies and resources to find parishes, as well as service opportunities and prayer events during the Advent and Christmas seasons.
“The perfect gift will bring a big smile, but it's sometimes not easy to find,” the website observes.
It encourages readers not to be distracted by stressful searching but to open the doors to their hearts, allowing God to give them the perfect gift of Christ this year.
Website viewers can also find information about prayer and what constitutes real peace and happiness.
An online video offers testimonies of individuals who have converted or returned to the Catholic Church and have experienced how Christ is the perfect gift in their lives.
“Since coming back to the Church, I really understand what Christmas means,” one woman explained.
Another woman, who grew up in a Buddhist family in Hong Kong, said that she converted on Christmas Eve.
“As a teenager, I searched for the truth, and Jesus became my perfect gift,” she said.
Two men who converted while working with people with developmental disabilities said that “(t)he God we discovered in the Catholic Mass was the same God we recognized in the people we were working with.”
The “Find the Perfect Gift” campaign logo depicts the three wise men following the Christmas star on a journey to the baby Jesus.
Dr. Susan Timoney, assistant secretary of Pastoral Ministry and Social Concern for the archdiocese, explained that Christmas is about the world’s greatest love story.
It is this immense love that led God to take on our human form and become “a vulnerable, dependent infant named Jesus,” Timoney said.