By Sister Stefanie MacDonald, OSB
Sister Stefanie’s Advent Scripture Study begins today. Read the readings and ponder them. Feel free to comment here, or – if you’d rather have a private conversation – email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’ll get back to you right away!
Are we mindful of God??? This line from today’s first reading makes me wonder. Do we – do I – put God first? Or do we put our false idols first? Do we even know?
One of the clues that we are putting false idols first is when we are not generous. For example, when we love our money more than our neighbors (who are everyone), and therefor fail to help those in need. Pope Francis says, “We have created new idols … the golden calf of old has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal.”
In the 2nd reading, Paul says “in him you were enriched in every way.” How true! God has given us all unique gifts and talents.
But, to recall the first reading, it’s how we choose to use these gifts that we show mindfulness of God. That is, do we use them to benefit only ourselves? Do we use them to make the world a better place? Do we neglect them and leave them unused?
Pope Francis tweeted about this: “Dear young people, don’t bury your talents, the gifts that God has given you! Do not be afraid to dream of great things!”
When we dream of great things we can use our gifts and talents to change our corner of the world. We can make our neighborhoods, parishes, schools, homes better. We can make an impact!
When we use our time, treasures and talent to help those around us, we put God first. We make a difference. This week, let’s explore ways in which we can use our gifts to help make the world a better place. Let’s – as St. Benedict says – “run while we have the light of life – to serve each other and all God’s creation. That’s how we’ll be mindful of God in our ways.
Questions for discussion:
How will you observe Advent?
How do you think your friends and family will observe Advent?
How do you try to remain mindful of God in everyday life?