The Magi, guided by the light of the star, brought their gifts to honor the Christ child. Our faith gives us light to recognize the gifts God has placed in our lives…and provides the light to discover ways to put those gifts to use in our world.
The Gospel reading makes it clear that all of us will be judged according to what we have been given in this life. Our invitation? To take stock of the gifts and talents we have and make something special for the glory of God.
Take a look at the keys in your pocket. As you hold them, think about what they do:
The doors they open
The cars they open & start
The authority and power they reveal
Keys allow us access and empower us with authority. Keys give us control over our physical world and they help us to use resources wisely and well. They are also symbols that speak to identity and purpose – just think about what happens when our keys are lost or taken from us….
In the first reading and the Gospel today we discover the power of God’s keys:
Key of the House of David
Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven
These promises to Eliakim and St. Peter are mighty – they will receive the power, authority,and responsibility from God lead and guide. Consider these three points:
Power: they receive the strength and ability to carry out the work entrusted to them. Power gives them resources and skills to accomplish great things. Without power they are weak; with God’s power they can do more than they ever dreamed possible.
Authority: these keys are a sign of leadership and respect. The keys they possess allow them to direct and command others. Those who hold the keys are followed; those who hold the keys stand before us and provide wisdom, insight, and vision.
Responsibility: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded.” (Luke 12:48b) With great power comes great responsibility, and those who have been given strength and ability are required to use it with wisdom. Indeed, having the keys of Authority are a burden to demonstrate transparency, accountability, and trust.
Again, look at the keys in your pocket. How do we use them? Today we might consider the gifts and talents God has given us: we have an opportunity at this moment to exercise our own power and authority with God’s guidance, knowing that one day the Lord will seek an accounting with what we have done.
May our own keys inspire us to live with conviction and direction – using the resources we have received with the insights offered by our faith in Jesus Christ. The Lord is the source of all keys, may we call upon him to help us use them!
All that we have comes from the Lord: our life and all our blessings that are so easy to take for granted. Yet our daily response to serve the Lord shows not only our acknowledgement of God’s gifts, but it also reveals our awareness of our relationship to the Lord and and one another.
At the wedding at Cana the Lord’s miracle of water to wine shows that God gives with quality and generosity. This notion of gift is picked up in Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians. These precious gifts – given by God – are meant to be used. Our invitation today: to acknowledge the good things Christ has given and put them into practice.
A quick shout out to my nieces and nephews who made my vacation so much fun and who shared their Scripture insights with me – that was a gift that I found truly precious!