Sunday, September 26th 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin
In our first reading this week from the Book of Numbers, Eldad and Medad were two men who were not gathered in the camp when the Spirit of God descended upon the elders in the camp. They were on the list to be anointed by the Spirit but had left the camp when the spirit descended. When the returned they were prophesying, and some people complained. Moses stated that “Would that all the people of the Lord were prophets. Would that the Lord might bestow his spirit on all of them.”
In the Gospel this weekend, the Apostle John complained that a man who was not a part of their company was driving out demons and doing the work of God. Jesus chastised him by saying, “Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me.”
In these two situations there were those who had been entrusted with a gift and used it to glorify the Lord. Joshua (first reading) and John (Gospel) should have responded in joy and appreciation for another’s gifts and talents.
We often look at another’s strengths as our weakness – whether it be in parish life, in the workforce, or even in our own families.
Jesus is calling us to cut out those sinful thoughts and attitudes from our lives. The next time we witness someone being a good steward of God’s gifts — rejoice! And continue to examine how you are using your gifts and talents to ensure you are being a good steward of what God has entrusted to you.
We do not want to end up like the rich in our Second Reading from Saint James. They stored up their riches to the point where they withheld wages from their workers! They clenched tightly to the pleasures and luxuries that the world offers and put it in front of both God and their neighbor. They misused the gifts God bestowed on them.
We must keep this in perspective as we journey on our path as Christian Disciples. We do not live for this life, but for the next. God has given us time every day, countless talents, and numerous treasures. Are we using them for His glory? This week when we witness other people in our lives using the gifts God has given to them, instead of becoming jealous or critical, say a prayer of thanksgiving and take time to reflect on what God has gifted you and how you can offer it to Him for His greater glory.