The Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. But did you know that the name Ebenezer comes from the Bible?
It is a perfectly fitting name for the miserly Mr. Scrooge. He not only hated Christmas, but he was also greedy and quite selfish. In the Bible, Ebenezer means “stone of hope”. Scrooge fits the description perfectly as he goes from being a cold-hearted, stone-faced, stingy old grouch, to becoming a hilariously generous giver of money (and holiday hope) to Tiny Tim and the rest of the poor Cratchit family. Scrooge serves as an excellent Christmas object lesson for us all.
Pope John Paul II said, “The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.” Let’s face it folks; we are for the most part very selfish people. I mean look, we are living in the age of the selfie!
And many of us would quickly admit that there is probably no more selfish time of the year than the days that begin on Black Friday and end on December 25th. Yet there is perhaps no better time to say goodbye to a selfish attitude than during the time when people tend to be the most selfish.
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