Sharing God’s Gifts to Us

Thursday of the 14th Week in Ordinary Time

Hosea 11: 1-4, 8e-9; Mt 10: 7-15

Dc. Larry Brockman

“Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give”.  Have you ever thought about it that way- that whatever it is that you have, your talents, your home, your family, even your limitations- they are yours, given to you by God, for free; and so, you are being commissioned to give them to others freely. 

First of all, they are without cost.  Because whatever you think you did to “earn them” counts for nothing compared to the fact that God gifted them to you.  Without God, you could not have anything.  It is only by the grace of God that we exist and have anything.   

Imagine how God feels when we don’t recognize His free gifts to us.  Our reading from Hosea today kind of describes God’s feelings in such a case.  Listen again to God’s words from Hosea; first he says:  “I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks.”  Wow, what kind of love is that!  But then, he says:  “Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.  My heart is overwhelmed, my pity is stirred”.  Now this doesn’t just apply to the people of Israel. Many of God’s people of today don’t seem to have a clue, not a clue that they have their gifts by virtue of God.   

So, what are we supposed to do with our God given gifts once they are recognized as such?  Well, in the Gospel Jesus sends His apostles out to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand.  And that is not all, because He asks them to do His work in a certain way:  First, he tells them they are not to take money- rather they are to depend on the people they visit to provide food and shelter for them.  In other words, he asks the Apostles to trust in His providence.  Likewise, we are asked to trust in God’s providence when we respond to his gifts.  And second, Jesus says they are to proclaim their message, and offer peace to all.  Whoever accepts them, God’s peace will also rest on them; but whoever rejects them and their message,  God’s peace will remain with the apostle.  In other words, when you recognize and use your God given gifts in the way God intended them, no matter what the world says or does or thinks of you, no matter what the reaction from those you try to give to,  you can be certain that God’s peace will be with you throughout.  That is God’s promise to us who try.   

These two elements of our mission to give freely of our talents- trust in God and confidence in the peace of God, are keys to a very difficult part of being a Christian- giving freely of ourselves. 

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