Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Give and take

It just keeps coming from the Liturgy these days. In the Gospel, we even get Jesus' thundering, "Woe to you!" about the very towns where his biggest, bestest miracles had been worked. The people of Bethsaida and Capharnaum were always ready to take and take and take from the Lord, but they withheld the "complete gift of self" that the miracles, from Jesus' side, were. (And think about it, Capharnaum was Jesus' adopted town; he moved there, "his own town," during his public ministry). That coldness had to really sting.
The conversion Jesus was calling for required that the people of Bethsaida (home to James and John) and Capharnaum first recognize the gifts they were being offered, so that they could consciously, actively and deliberately receive them--not just "take" them.
I think that the same can be said of the gifts and talents we receive from God as individuals. After all, as God sustains us in existence, these qualities and abilities are continuously being given to us anew. What would it mean to "receive" them?

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