Monday, December 10, 2012

The Gift I Wish

Women of Faith:
The gift I most want to give and to receive is a gift that is free to everyone. It is a gift in the sense that we do not deserve it or earn it, and it is readily available if we want it. It is the gift of FAITH!

My parents gave me the gift faith when they brought me to be baptized. They carefully nurtured the faith, grew it by example, and encouraged me to be fed by the Eucharist. I formally accepted the gift when I said yes to the Sacrament of Confirmation. It is a gift that I hope I never abuse but rather display proudly by my example.
It is a gift that everyone desires, but some do not yet know what it is they desire. It is a gift that everyone is offered, but some don’t quite know how to ask for. And it is a gift that everyone desperately needs—God’s presence/presents in their lives.

Faith is a gift that I hope everyone will have for its promise is life changing.
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened for you.” Mt 7:7

Once faith is received it remains within us. But faith is not an “easy” gift because it requires us to look deeply into ourselves and under the package wrappings. And if we revere our gift of faith by continued study we will form and transform every part of our being.
And I am most saddened when I see a faith that has been set aside, neglected or left unwrapped because something else became more important.

In the gospel today, Jesus praises the men who let the paralyzed man down through the roof. "When He saw their faith, He said, 'As for you, your sins are forgiven.'" (Luke 5:20) (First Century Palestinians believed that sickness and infirmity were the result of sin, one's own or that of one's ancestors.)
It is thru faith that I am given the gifts of the Spirit—reverence, wisdom, understanding, wonder and awe, courage, right judgment, and knowledge. And it is thru faith that I am forgiven each time I have failed God’s commandments.

No one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 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. 1 Cor 12: 4-7

Heavenly Father, in You I place my trust. Thank you for the faith which allows me to overcome the discouragement of superficial earthly wants and desires. Help me to see the many opportunities which my faith has given me. Help me use faith’s power and to be available to assist others who wish to unwrap their own gift of faith. May Your Spirit guide me with an increase of patience and charity, especially for those who seem to ignore Your gift of faith. And help me to nurture my faith with awe and wonder so that I may be inspired to move forward by faiths’ limitless beauty and challenges. Amen.
Pope Benedict has declared this a Year of Faith. Advent is the perfect time to take the gift of faith, unwrap it and share it with others.

May you be blessed by accepting His gift of faith,

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