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.
Tag Archives: Gifts
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!
Study: Reflect on a time when you experienced something profoundly good. How did it shape you?
Pray: Are there needs in your life or in someone you know? Ask the Lord to touch and bless them with goodness.
Serve: How can you bring abundant goodness to another today? How can your service make a real difference in someone’s life?
This week’s readings proclaim God’s goodness in a variety of ways:
- 1st Reading – God calls Israel his “Delight”
- Psalm – the people proclaim the “marvelous deeds of the Lord”
- 2nd Reading – the Spirit showers us with rich and varied gifts
- Gospel – Jesus turns water into wine at a wedding in Cana
We often talk about the Lord’s commandments as things we should NOT do. While this is often true and helpful, we can sometimes miss the point about all the ways our lives can DO things that are inspired (and indeed, commanded) by God. We are called:
- to live joyfully
- to proclaim God’s Good News
- to engage the gifts we have been given for others
- to change and transform the world around us with God’s grace and blessing
Simply put, God’s goodness to us inspires us to share this abundant goodness with each other. We are invited to take hold of our lives and make the most of each day – loving and serving, forgiving and helping, blessing, healing, rejoicing, and renewing. We have been given the gifts of life and faith….let’s live them with power!
The gut check in all this flows from our fundamental attitude: do we live our faith with love, joy, and peace? Do people see goodness in the words we say and the actions we perform? Is our Christian witness evident in the manner and conduct of our interactions with others? May God’s goodness empower our lives to burn like a blazing torch – leading others closer to God and one another.
The Wedding at Cana, Paolo Veronese; 1562, Louvre Museum, Paris, France.
Study: What particular gifts or talents do I possess? What comes naturally to me – that I am good at and enjoy doing?
Pray: Ask the Lord how you might be called or invited to share your skills and talents.
Serve: Look around. Where do you see an opportunity where you might make a unique contribution? How can you make a difference today with the time, talents, and skills that the Lord has given you?
I am fascinated watching people who enjoy using tools for work projects. Carpenters, plumbers, mechanics, craftsmen, and amateurs – all seem to derive great satisfaction using the right tool for a particular task.
Tools are interesting, allowing us to do work that we would be unable to achieve by our ability or skill. Three points surface when we talk about tools in a practical context:
1. Each has a specific function & task.
2. A tool often works in cooperation with others.
3. A tool is only good when it is used.
Simply put, tools have a purpose, and when they are used correctly for that purpose they provide meaning and aid. Tools enhance the quality of life, and they enable work that would not have otherwise been accomplished.
In the Scriptures today we discover that we are God’s tools, called to act in the world to help others in their time of need. The first reading uses direct action words (SHARE, CLOTHE, SHELTER) to show that God desires that we intentionally reach out to the people around us.
In the Gospel we are invited to let our actions shine so that others may see them and give glory to God. In this way our actions bring the love and power of Jesus Christ into the world; we become the Lord’s tools to spread the Good News.
Yet just as tools have different purposes, so to different people have unique abilities. With all our different skills and talents we can ask, “What kind of tool has the Lord made me to be?” This question helps us discover our special qualities.
Once we know what we have to offer, we can ask, “What can I do?” Every day we have opportunities to make the world a better place. Using our unique gifts we can bring Christ to one another.
A tool makes sense when it is used properly. We are made in God’s likeness to live the command of love. May we put our lives to work as we act with the abilities we possess. In this way our light will shine for all to see and give glory to Jesus Christ.