Multiplying your gifts

“Teach us to give and not count the cost.”

Saint Ignatius of Loyola

How can we multiply our gifts?  We are so busy.  We have so much that needs to be done.  In addition, we need our rest, too! Are we called to give more of ourselves than what we feel capable of doing?  I was thinking about this today.  I thought about the time when Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes.  I know generally these don’t go together.  Nevertheless, hear me out, so that I can show you how they are connected.

Let’s look at ourselves.  What skills do you or I have?  Do we enjoy sitting by someone and helping him or her work through a problem?  Alternatively, maybe we know how to dance or work a computer?  We have so many skills that seem like they are just the norm.  Has it occurred to you or I ever before that someone might need us to hold their hand or read to them?

So what does this have to do with multiplying loaves and fishes?  I know it’s a stretch.  All of these gifts, which are common day for all of us, may be just what a neighbor down the street might need.  My premise is as we give more of ourselves, we gain more energy, more time, and the happier we become.  This is how Jesus multiplying fish and loaves of bread are connected.

As part of the curriculum at Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (FranU), the students are asked to volunteer their time to help others.  Today is the beginning of finding a partner company, which needs our help.  I will be working with Catholic Charities and maybe one other company.  We are honored to be able to help people.  It gives us a chance to expand our horizon and grow as an individual.  Our lives will be enlarged because we are stepping out of our world into a different world.  For some of us it will be our first time ever working with people.  For me, this will be the first time I have worked so intimately with others.  I have worked with charities before, but not in this capacity.

I will keep you updated on my journey.  I am excited about the new doors, which are opening and looking forward to seeing God working through me for him.

“What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God.”

Hans Urs von Balthasar

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