Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
May 31, 2009
Are We Open to The Spirit’s Gifts?
If would be normal to believe that every human being enjoys receiving a gift. Gifts received at Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries etc. are always anticipated with some degree of excitement but the gifts that are of particular interest and are always enjoyed are gifts that come at unexpected times or come in the form of a surprise. The reason for the enjoyment and pleasure is, most probably, that in receiving a gift we can usually assume that the person offering the gift is thinking about us and thus indicates that we are loved. The idea that we are loved is important to us and it gives us great pleasure. The reason we enjoy surprises is probably because it indicates that the person giving the gift has gone through more effort than necessary to attempt to please us in a special way without having to ask us, thus allowing us to assume that we are loved more deeply.
Gifts are only useful and appreciated when received in total awareness and appreciation. We could receive gifts on a daily basis but if we neglect to open them or to use them, they are useless. They are gifts that fall by the wayside. Everyone has wasted time and energy in the process. To have full effect, a gift must be offered with sincere intent and it must be received with appreciation.
This weekend we are celebrating the feast of Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles. The feast is a reminder that God is always with us through the gift of His Spirit and Life. This is what the Holy Spirit is. . .the Life of God. It is this Life that animates us as individuals and as a collective body the people of God – the Church. Without the gift of the Spirit we would be lost. We would be trying to journey through life on our own accord and heaven only knows how often we try that, only to trip and fall flat on our faces.
When we feel lost or abandoned by God, when we feel that God doesn’t understand our plight, or when we think that we must control our own destinies, we need to remember that what we are doing in actuality is neglecting to open our gifts. We are leaving them on the counter and proceeding as if we had never seen or received them. What we are doing is saying, “No Thanks God, I can do this on my own.” How presumptuous of us – how proud – or perhaps, how shallow we have become.
The gifts that God offers us on a continual basis, most often as surprises, are the gifts of Wisdom, to things in the same way God sees things. We are offered the gifts of Understanding and Counsel in order to have a greater depth and perspective of Life. We are offered the gifts of Strength to persevere and the gift of Knowledge to better grasp the truth of Life. These are no small or petty or “cheap” gifts. They are the best people can hope for. Are we open to the gifts of god’s Life for ourselves and our church? Or, are we neglecting to open our gifts as they are presented to us because we are afraid of what God may be asking of us? Are we afraid that there is a catch? We have been greatly conditioned to be cynical of great offers, haven’t we? Let us pray this week:
Come Lord Jesus, Send Us Your Spirit and Renew our Lives! ! !
Lorette P. Nault