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01/18/16 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time - Deacon Tony

Deacon Tony Conti

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time

  • From St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians... “Brothers and sisters: There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit.” 
  • When was the last time we stopped to take a good look at ourselves and recognized our gifts...?
  • Discovering our purpose in life starts by identifying our gifts..
  • Many of us might say... I'm just an ordinary person... I don't have any extraordinary gifts...
  • If we believe this… We do both God and ourselves a great disservice...
  • No human being is without unique gifts…
  • Identifying and embracing those gifts can sometimes be a lifelong process… But it’s an endeavor worth pursuing…
  • In order to discern our gifts… It helps to try to gain some perspective on our lives
  • Jesus showed us the way and continues to show us the way… But our willingness to follow Him always depends upon our perspective and our willingness to trust in His promises
  • Are we willing to see life differently?
  • Are we willing to put our integrity above personal gain?
  • Are we willing to give more than we receive?
  • In essence - Are we willing to try to see the world through the eyes of Christ?
  • None of us has the ability to singlehandedly change the world around us…
  • But each of us has the ability to change our little corner of the world
  • In his book Answering Your Call, John P. Schuster wrote: “History calls a few to greatness, but life calls all of us to make a difference in the situations we choose and into which we are sometimes thrown.” (Pg. 37)
  • We may not be immediately capable of changing our individual circumstances… But we can change to how we respond to those circumstances…
  • When we can finally come to believe that we are not alone on our journey
  • When we can begin to sense order in the apparent chaos of lifeThis is when we begin to see through the eyes of God
  • And this is when we’ll begin to recognize and embrace the gifts and talents that we’ve been given by our God

 

  • Father Thomas Ryan wrote: “We ask to know the will of God without guessing that it is written into our very beings.  We perceive that will, when we discern our gifts.  Our obedience and surrender to God are in large part our obedience and surrender to our gifts.” (Four Steps to Spiritual Freedom, Pg. 103)…
  • No one has ever lived who is exactly like you... and no one ever will...
  • When we’re faithful to our callings in life, when we begin to recognize and use our gifts for the benefit of those around us – We become a gift to others...
  • And there’s one more way that we can become a gift to others, and that’s by helping others to identify their gifts...
  • Sometimes it’s far easier for us to see the gifts of others, rather than our own...

 

  • I’ll close with a quote from an editorial I read in the Magnificat many years ago:  “Not a single one of us has been chosen because of merit.  Rather, each of us has been chosen for a purpose and is continually being filled with gifts, which are granted in order to be given away.  We are called in order to be filled with something that does not come from us, and does not belong to us.  God has chosen us because He is Good; God has given us a purpose, a destiny; God continually fills us with gifts that perfect us as we give them away.  We give God Thanks because we have met and become captivated by Mercy.”  (Excerpts from a Magnificat Editorial, April 2006).

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