Using Our Gifts for God's Glory
A reflection by Aaron Connor
We are all familiar with the story of the Nativity. After all, it is the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. We all remember how Mary “wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). We also all remember the magi from the east, who upon seeing the baby Jesus “offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh” (Mathew 2:11).
I’m sure most of us at least remember the story of the Little Drummer Boy, as told in the 1951 song written by Katherine K. Davis, who wanted to give something, anything, to the baby Jesus. Despite being incredibly poor, the boy realized he did indeed have a gift to bring: his drum. So, the Little Drummer Boy played a song on his drum for the newborn Christ.
Like the magi and the Little Drummer Boy, we are all called to give our gifts and talents to God and to use them to give Him glory. All that we have, whether that be material wealth or musical talents, come from God. And it is to God that we should give them back.
The magi would not have had the gold, frankincense, and myrrh to give to Jesus had God not given those things to the magi first. The Little Drummer Boy would not have had the gift of his musical abilities, nor even his drum, had God not given him the talents and the means to play music first. God gave these things to these men and young boy in order for them to give them to Him in return.
We all have heard the saying, “God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.” This can be seen in the story and the lives of the apostles. None of the apostles were scholars or rabbis. They were fishermen, tax collectors, ordinary men leading ordinary lives. And yet, they were all called by Christ Himself to follow Him and to share in His earthly life and ministry. After Jesus ascended and commissioned the apostles to go out into the world, God did not just leave the apostles to their own devices. He sent the Holy Spirit upon all of them, giving them all the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, literally equipping the apostles for the work they were called to do.
The coolest bit of this news? We all get to receive those same Gifts especially through the sacrament of Confirmation. The Lord calls us all to continue the work that was started by the earliest followers of Christ, and He gives us every tool to succeed.
The use of our gifts and talents can be very wide and varied, and they can take on many different forms. A great example of this is the story of Father David Michael Moses, a 28 year-old priest in Texas. Father David Michael fell in love with music from a very young age, learning how to play several instruments and teaching himself to write songs. He began to use his gifts to write songs about his faith and to give glory to God. When he was still in seminary, he and several of his friends and fellow seminarians started an annual concert, named the “Concert for Life,” and has since raised over $600,000 for women in crisis pregnancies. He is also very active on social media and is well-known for his love and passion for pastoral ministry and sense of humor.
Father David Michael shows how it is possible to take a simple passion, a small and simple gift, and use it for God and His Church. His story and work make it very apparent that all things done for God will be good. So don’t ever be afraid to share your gifts with the world!
However, you do not have to use your gifts for something as big as throwing an annual pro-life concert. Our small, everyday gifts and talents can be used to give glory to God. If you are good at cooking, share your gift at a soup kitchen or by cooking for your friends and family. If you have a good sense of humor, make people laugh and feel welcome, especially if you are inviting them into the Church through evangelization or into Mass as an usher. If you are a good gardener, garden with a smile and with the joy that you are providing for yourself or maybe even others while you participate in and nurture God’s creation.
God calls us all to be saints, and saints strive for excellence and holiness in all things. This is the Catholic way of life. We can live our lives in prayer and for the Lord by giving all of our talents and gifts to Him, and strive to be the best that our truest authentic selves can be.
Go out and show the world what you can do and what you are willing to do for Him. Trust me, you’ll end up doing something really good.
Editor’s Note: As Aaron eloquently wrote about above, the Lord gives each of us unique gifts that we can use for Him and His glory. What gifts has He given you? As the Advent season approaches next week, reflect on that every Sunday of Advent with the CG community through our Instagram story, which you can find on @catholicgators.