Wrapped in the Love of Jesus

“Someone prayed for you with every stitch!” the Sisters explained as we showed her the colorful homemade knitted shawl made by a Co-Worker of Life. She was floored by the idea of it – that a perfect stranger had not only taken the time and effort to hand-craft something so beautiful for her, but that it held the promise of prayers as well. “When you wear it, you’ll be wrapped up in the love of Jesus!” The new mother accepted the gift with a grateful smile and eagerly wrapped the shawl around her neck before going out into the chilly autumn air.

A few weeks later we received a call from this same woman who was delighted to share with us an encounter she had just had: “I was walking past the hospital this evening and I spotted an elderly man sitting in a wheelchair; he must have been waiting for someone to pick him up. I almost walked right past, but then I noticed that he didn’t have a coat and he was shivering. I was wearing the prayer shawl you gave me, and in an instant, I knew what I had to do. I went over to him and said, ‘Sir, you must be so cold! Here, take my scarf!’ He started to protest, but I insisted, and wrapped it gently around his shaking shoulders. He smiled, and I promised that I would pray for him, just like those who had given me the scarf had prayed for me. I sensed that he just needed to know that Jesus loved him and was with him. Then I went on my way with such a feeling of peace in my heart.”

You could almost feel her beaming smile through the phone. It had given her such joy not only to be a Christ-like presence to another person, but also to encounter Him within a stranger in a unique and unexpected way. It is in meeting the Lord and then reflecting His love to those we meet, even in the small moments of our day-to-day life, that we find true peace and fulfillment. It is moments like these than bring light and joy to our dark world.

Pope Francis recently said, “Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness… and that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive! Let the risen Jesus enter your life, welcome Him as a friend, with trust: He is life! If up till now you have kept Him at a distance, step forward. He will receive you with open arms. If you have been indifferent, take a risk: you won’t be disappointed. If following Him seems difficult, don’t be afraid, trust Him, be confident that He is close to you, He is with you and He will give you the peace you are looking for and the strength to live as He would have you do.”

As we continue this Advent Season with longing and expectation for the birth of our Hope, we remember that it is the One who was wrapped in swaddling clothes Who also wishes to wrap us up tightly in His own comfort and love. May we renew our efforts not to stay wrapped up in our own worlds, but to make a gift of ourselves to others in charity and generosity. May we give all of the anxieties that may come with the busyness of this season to Him, and snuggle up in the warmth and comfort of His arms, which surround us always.