26 May 2009

All is His

In today's Gospel Our Lord, in his prayer, acknowledges that all he has been given has been given to him by the Father. This window into an intimate communication between the Our Lord and his heavenly Father calls us to consider our own lives. All that we have is a gift from the Father. Even our good works are gifts; for the ability to do good works for others is itself a gift in response to the very desire, given by God, to do a good work.

In a culture that rewards independence and praises individualism, we can be tempted to take ownership for many of our gifts. One sign that we may have begun to stake a claim on things which do not "belong" to us is when we feel an attachment to the outcome of tasks or responsibilities entrusted to us. It is natural to want to see our undertakings turn out well: for us and for those whom we serve. But the "turn out" is not ours to control. We will only be held responsible for how we have set about to do our work -- be it our "job" or the duties proper to our state in life such as raising a family, etc. The means we have of doing our work is a gift from the Lord and so the success -- or lack thereof -- belongs entirely to the Lord, as well. Let us ask for the grace to be good stewards of the gifts which the Lord has given to us ... and for the grace to acknowledge that every good gift belongs to Him who created us.

"Oh how blessed are such souls, bold and strong in the undertakings God proposes to them, and also tractable and flexible in giving them over when God so disposes! These are marks of virtue, to leave off doing a good when God pleases, and to return from half way when God's will, which is our guide, ordains it."
St. Francis de Sales

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