Are the gifts that God has given you meant to be kept for yourself (i.e., hidden)? The lamp in Gospel reading (Mark 4:21-25) is the light of Christ within you. Every good gift that you’ve received — your talents, your hard-earned money, your wisdom, your home, etc. — is a beam of the light of Christ trying to shine outward from you.

Why do we sometimes hide our gifts? It’s because we think they’re not enough — not good enough, not ready enough, or not humble enough to show them to others and let them shine.

We are treasure chests full of gifts! To share these treasures requires exposing ourselves, opening up the lid and letting others look inside to pick up and use the gifts that could benefit them. Does the thought of that make you feel too vulnerable?

We cannot do much for the kingdom of God without exposing what we naturally want to protect. Jesus exposed his back to the scourging whips, his head to thorns, and his body to the pain of the cross, because he loves you! Are you willing to expose his presence within you by sharing your gifts so that others may discover that Jesus loves them, too?

We can learn from the snake. In order to reproduce, the female snake must warm herself, so she lies on rocks in the open sunlight. This is a huge risk, because there are hawks circling above searching for dinner. We, too, must take the risk of lying open in God’s “Son-Light” where people can see us, so that we can reproduce the love that he’s been giving to us.

Exposing the light in us means sharing our gifts even when it’s inconvenient. It means offering our gifts to others even when it results in rejection and ridicule. It means that when we get hurt for openly sharing ourselves, instead of closing up and running away, we choose to become stronger in loving others unconditionally.

When we share our giftedness, we share Jesus. One of the greatest gifts we receive is the true presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and when we let others experience his true presence within us, we become Eucharist for them.

Jesus was not kidding when he said: “Listen carefully …. To those who have, more will be given; from those who have not, what little they have will be taken away.” We have gifts, but if we behave like we don’t, they become useless and ineffective; we lose them.

On the other hand, “In the measure you give you shall receive, and more besides.” The more generous we are in sharing ourselves with others, the more we grow in our giftedness. However, no benefit to ourselves is as awesome as watching others receive God because of the gifts we share!

© 2016 by Terry A. Modica

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