Friday 13 February 2015

Monday of the 5th Week of Easter

Many of us are gifted with certain talents or capabilities which make us unique and different. Some of us are good at academic pursuits, some are good at art, some are good at music, some are good at using their hands to make or fix things, some are good at singing or dancing; but whatever it is we are good at, are we thankful for such talents God has given us? Do we glorify God when we use such talents or capabilities? Or are we using such talents or capabilities to boost our ego and pride?

In today's reading, Paul healed a man who was crippled from birth. The reading tells us: "When the crowd saw what Paul had done they shouted in the language of Lycaonia, 'These people are gods who have come down to us disguised as men.' They addressed Barnabas as Zeus, and since Paul was the principal speaker they called him Hermes. The priests of Zeus-outside-the-Gate, proposing that all the people should offer sacrifice with them, brought garlanded oxen to the gates." Of course, Paul had healed the man with the help of God, but the crowd did not know about this and thought that Paul had some sort of divine power in him. Paul and Barnabas could have basked in the glory of what they had accomplished through the healing and taken credit for it, but instead, they "tore their clothes, and rushed into the crowd, shouting, 'Friends, what do you think you are doing? We are only human beings like you. We have come with good news to make you turn from these empty idols to the living God who made heaven and earth and the sea and all that these hold.'"

When we look at the kind of attitude Paul and Barnabas had, we can learn that though we have certain capabilities or talents, such capabilities or talents are meant to be used to give glory to God. In some ways, the capabilities and talents we have could also be used to preach the Good News. Are we using our capabilities and talents for such purposes?

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