HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Wow, did last year and Christmas go by fast. When I reflect on this past year I must say how impressed I was at how we closed out 2017. Not only did we exceed our PSA goal, but we also exceeded our “Fund A Need” goal as well. Just as a reminder, the PSA collection goes towards the Bishop’s ministries which lack funding sources; such as Jail Ministry, Deacon and Priest education and paying for our seminarian’s education. So a big THANKS to all and job well done.
In my Christmas homily, I mentioned how the 3 Magi brought to the new born Jesus 3 gifts: gold, frankincense and myrrh. I related how one of our SAM school kids said there were 4 gifts, not 3. The fourth gift was the gift of our hearts….the most precious gift we could ever give to Jesus. Well today’s celebration of the Epiphany should encourage each of us to reflect on the gifts we can bring to Christ, so he may put them to use in building his kingdom here on earth. The gifts don’t have to be wildly expensive, but they must come from the heart of who we are, and must be rooted in the unique way each of us has been fashioned by God.
For example, there was an elderly widow who had grown tired of only talking about the world’s problems. She wondered what she could do to make a difference. She had heard about the plight of her community’s homeless, and decided that what she could do was to make them sandwiches. And so she did, taking the sandwiches to the local park where she knew a number of the homeless gathered daily. In time she got others involved and went on to expand the services provided to the homeless. Today she’s ninety-four, and still going strong. The place she and her friends helped to create now assists hundreds of people annually. Because she was open to sharing her gift with others, many lives were touched and God’s kingdom came to earth for those homeless.
What are the gifts God has given us to use? What is the most valuable gift each of us has to offer? A sense of humor? An ability to pray with others? Kindness, gentleness and patience? An ability to fix cars or computers? Musical talent? The ability to make others feel welcome? We have all received many gifts and talents from God. Often the challenge is that we can feel we’ll be losing something by sharing of ourselves, but the truth is, in sharing we actually receive. In making a concrete choice to share, we can help to make God’s presence known, and so continue the Epiphany.
At the Christmas Masses and subsequent weeks we’ll be giving out Matthew Kelly’s new book “Perfectly Yourself”. This book was provided by a generous donor and it encourages us to live beyond our shortcomings and to recognize our true giftedness. Matthew Kelly is a motivational speaker, author, business consultant, and founder of Dynamic Catholic. This book is a gift to you from us for all the support you’ve given to St Angela Merici and the greater community. Enjoy the read, it’s a good New Year’s resolution, and a great way to start 2018. Thank you for sharing your giftedness.