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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

The Overwhelming Gifts We Receive

Thursday January 27 2022

Third Week of Ordinary Time

by Fr. David M. Knight

2Samuel 7: 18-29: There is something very interesting about David’s response to God’s promise. His focus is not on what it meant to himself, but on what it says about God:

According to your own heart, you have wrought all this greatness, so that your servant may know it. Therefore you are great, O LORD God; for there is no one like you, and there is no God besides you... Thus your name will be magnified forever in the saying, “The LORD of hosts is God over Israel.”

It is natural for a child who receives a present to say, “Thank you,” then run off and get absorbed in the present. But David was absorbed in what the gift said about God. What he was most grateful for was the relationship God chose to have with him. This is what he was most aware of. And so he just kept thanking and praising God.

God overwhelms us with gifts: earth, air, food, water, flowers, trees, animals, fish and birds. The gifts of grace: a new identity purified of sin, divine light, the power of the Holy Spirit, his word, instant access to himself in prayer, the Mass, the sacraments, a library of Christian reflections and records of mystical experience, the example of the saints, community with others, the promise of life-giving ministry, and of a contributing part in establishing the reign of God on earth. But his greatest gift is the gift he wants to give us through these, the gift these other gifts help us to arrive at; the gift Jesus said he came to give: that “life to the full” which consists in being like God.

Not just “in the image” of God. Not just somewhat like God. Not just creatures imitating God to the best of our ability. God created us to “become Christ” by Baptism. To become “in Christ” what Jesus himself is, in a way “far more than all we can ask or imagine”: the “reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being.” By “presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice” at Baptism to be his body, and reaffirming this at every Mass, we are accepting to be absorbed in Christ, so united to him that we can say with St. Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me!” Jesus’ prayer for his disciples was not, “Father, may they be like us,” but “may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us,”[1]

That is the mystery we need to remain aware of.

Mark 4:21-25: It is the nature of God to love, to give himself. If we are like God, we must be giving to others, sharing with others, all that we are. Jesus says,

“Is a lamp brought in to be put… under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

We will be like God in the measure we give like God. Our light and our love.

Initiative: Be aware of God’s gift. Share it. Sharing will keep you aware.

[1]John 10:10; Hebrews 1:3; Ephesians 3:20; Romans 12:1; Galatians 2:20; John 17:21.

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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