Using your God given gifts

Sunday, July 25th 2021 | By Rev. Michael P. Hanifin

July 25th is the celebration of the Feast of the Apostle James, however, since it falls on a Sunday, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time takes precedence. In 2014 and 2018, I walked the Camino Santiago de Compostela, which is an ancient Pilgrimage to the tomb of the Apostle James. People often asked why I would walk 500 miles across Northern Spain to the Cathedral that houses the tomb. I would answer: Divina Providencia or the Divine Providence of God – to know that God provides no matter what.

The servant and the little boy in our readings today are excellent examples of how God provides. The servant trusted so much in God that he gave the very best of what he had, and the boy gave all that he had, permitting God to do the rest.

A key component of living as Jesus’ modern-day disciples is to constantly evaluate our lives, particularly our relationship with God to ensure we are not just scraping by but rather giving God our entire lives. There was a religious sister who taught at Saint Bonaventure Parish who was known to say, “Do your best, and God will do the rest.”

We should ask ourselves — “How am I doing my best and thus allowing God to do his part? How am I giving God the best of my time, using my talents, and sharing my treasures to build up his Kingdom here on earth?”

We are called to give God time each day. If we do not plan for this time, likely He will not get any. We need to find what works best for us so that God can become a significant part of our daily lives. We are also called to put our gifts and talents to good use. The servant and the boy teach us that it is not up to us to decide how our gifts will affect others. God will do that. As the Nike motto tells us, “Just do it!”

This fall, we will have a gift discernment workshop to help parishioners discern how they can utilize their talents to build up God’s Kingdom here at Saint Joachim Parish. For more information contact Carol Nasr at

Lastly, the servant reminds us that we are called to give the first fruits of our treasures. It is easy to give something; it is difficult to give the finest gift. Giving our best requires us to reevaluate our priorities in life.

When we strive to live out our call as Jesus’ disciples by entrusting all that we have been given to the One who graciously gave us these gifts, we will be blessed beyond measure. As we begin a new week, let us spend some time evaluating our relationship with God by asking, ”‘what is my very best, and am I giving it to God?” I challenge you to do your best and thus allowing God to do the rest.