PRAYING OUR GIFTEDNESS: A CALL TO BE GENEROUS 1st Semester NSTP PLUS
Prayer Points One image of God is a source and the giver. How exactly has God played the role of “Giver” in your life? How have you been gifted?
“God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things, always having all you need, you may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Cor 9:8)
God is the ultimate giver. He is the source of all creation, of all goodness. He is the Giver of all that we are, of all that we do, and of all that we have.
1. Being – the innate gift of character, the person that we are (being friendly, patient, etc.)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen Luke 21: 1-3 – The Widow’s Offering “When he looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.”
Journal Writing Reflection Guide • Name 5 gifts for which you are most grateful. (The gifts of being, doing and having) • How have you been using these gifts? • In what ways are you being called to use these gifts particularly in your NSTP+ area? • Take some time to dialogue with your God. Talk to Him about the individual gifts and talents which you have gathered.
Activity: Creative Expression • Design your empty bookmark by: • Writing your words of thanks to God • Write your commitment to share your gifts to others • Your bookmark should contain symbols of gifts you have received
Activity 2: Faith Sharing 2-minute sharing on: • symbolisms, significant feelings, insights from your prayer • How you have been using your gifts and how you have been called to use these gifts more in your NSTP area.
Each of us is uniquely blessed and gifted by God. And these gifts are coupled with an invitation to share them to others. The call to be generous is the call for all. “Only the person who knows how to receive the gift of God gratefully can also give generously. We are gifted creatures because we have a God who is the source of all goodness.” (Fr. ManolingFrancisco,S.J.)
Giving and Receiving Response: The gift I have received, I will give as a gift.
Prayers of Self-Offering “The truth at the heart of every creation is the presence of gift. We see reality for what it is when we recognize it as gift to be received and gift to be given. Pope Benedict XVI says, “The human being is made for gift (Caritas in Veritate 34). Only the person who knows how to receive gift of God gratefully can also give generously.
Gratitude engenders offering. The gospel story of the poor widow who put in her two small coins in the temple treasury serves as our model. Jesus said of her, “Amen, I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the other contributions to the treasury. For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has contributed all she had, her whole livelihood” (Mark 12:43b-44)
The widow was poor, not simply because she only had two coins to offer, but like the many other poor people in scriptures upon whom God loves favorably, she knew very well that all her life and all that she had was not her own but a gift. Because she received freely, she also gave freely and for doing so, she was blessed by God even more.
Offering also begets even deeper gratitude. It is not uncommon to hear from people who have reached out to a neighbor in need how much they have also received abundantly from the people to whom they have ministered, like a teacher who also learns from her students, or a caregiver who is also nurtured by his patients. The goodness engendered by selfless service of others overflows beyond human expectation.
Ultimately, to recognize the presence of gift in all creation is our blessing because it leads our gaze toward the Giver of all good gifts. We are gifted creatures because we have a God who is the source of all goodness. We are able to offer our lives more freely to others because we have a God who has offered his very own life for us so that we too may have a share in his divine life. We are gifts because God is first and foremost our Gift.