Odd it is, how many times, as sort of a compliment, one person may be chatting about meeting up with an old friend and happily note that the old friend “hasn’t changed at all.” You’ll note this at high school or college reunions, or simply after not seeing a person since youth, or at any rate a long while — perhaps “long-lost” relatives.
That’s may be a good thing — that a person “hasn’t changed at all” — if, to start with, the person was perfect. But otherwise, in life, we are called to evolve, to change, to grow, and to purify in preparation for: eternity.
By so doing, we glorify God.
Staying the “same” (translation: stagnant) works against salvation. Change what needs to be changed. Take it to the Eucharist. Take it to Christ. Pray imperfection away. Pray away overattachments. Pray away antagonisms and dislikes. There’s always room for improvement and one of the ways we improve is to detach from the worldly and instead of being envious, instead of competing with others, instead of wanting what others have, focusing on what we have been given by God as a special gift.
Says the reading today, “Brothers and sisters: the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God. Among men, who knows what pertains to the man except his spirit that is within? Similarly, no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God” (1 Corinthians 2:10).
Everyone has gifts. They may seem “small,” your gift. They may seem “insignificant.” You may not even recognize what and where they are! But if they seem small, that’s only so through the eyes of the world.
We should have joy over our gifts as well as the gifts others have been given (instead of coveting them).
Many make the mistake of seeking what is not designed for them. When we do try that, when we neglect our own gifts, focusing on attaining another’s, we’re frustrated. It just doesn’t pan out.
Our own real gifts can be sensed in prayer, fit like an old shoe, and in the rightness of how we feel, are to be cherished because:
Here — in our gifts — we find our life missions. They are as unique as your fingerprints.
If you want to explore your assignment here on earth, think about the talents — “large” or “small” (really, there is no large or small) — that come naturally to you.
A young woman who had a near-death experience while in a coma from severe heart problems says that “the first thing I learned was that the way we’re living is all wrong. We’ve got it all backwards. A complete reverse. What I can say honestly is that the biggest mistake you can make in your life: putting your dreams and passing and purpose on a back burner; you’re dead wrong and you will have to face that. You will have to answer to yourself for it, and it will be the most painful thing you experience, if you don’t follow your purpose.” Your purpose.
When we live according to the worldly views and standards, we have limitation — we are defined, and want to do what others are doing — whereas when we use our gifts for God the horizon is limitless and we covet nothing. We’re not envious. We don’t have a “cap” on our abilities to work for Him (and others).
When we realize the gifts we have — when we come to a full understanding of what they are, when we let the Holy Spirit comes through us to reveal real inner truth — we are on our way to finding our main purpose in life, the plan God, not men, not our own egos, has for us.
The gifts you have been given (note this is plural, for usually there are more than one) are meant to deploy in a way that helps humanity, which goes to glorifying God.
When others are succeeding at this, we should be happy for them, since we are all in this together; we all need each other for the ultimate salvation of humanity. There is no room for petty dislikes, envy, competitions! We are all linked to God. Actually we all have gifts — plural.
“Lord, what gifts have you given me? Am I using them? Lead me to my purpose!”
It’s a prayer to consider, for when we die, we will be clearly be shown what the gifts were and what we were meant to do with them.