A single family of God

By | September 26, 2012

Our readings for this Sunday provide insights on gifts, worship and “being.” God is a giver. Not only does God give his Spirit to Moses, but also to Eldad and Medad and 70 other elders. But it is a gift not just for them, but for the people. So they ventured forth to fulfill their prophetic word, speaking of God’s ways. The same thing happens in the Gospel when a person expels demons in the name of Jesus. What is interesting is that in both cases, an attempt was made to stop these individuals from sharing their gifts. And, as the reading indicates, this attempted blockage was grounded in jealousy.

Each of us through baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist has been given a portion of God’s Spirit and some unique gift. Our vocation is to receive that gift, cherish and nurture it, and then share it with others as we offer it back to the Lord. Obviously, we are talking here about a stewardship way of life that is aware that God is the origin of all that we have and are.

We hear every strong language in the Gospel directed at behavior that is harmful. Cut off your hand, cut off your foot, tear out your eye if any of these organs cause you to sin. We must come to realize that God has given us the gift of life and all of our faculties so that we might be participants in divine life. Right worship puts us in proper relationship with God. We are to be aligned to God’s will and thereby use our feet, hands, eyes and heart to fulfill our true vocation, i.e., our call to holiness. Giving a drink of water to others in love demonstrates that we live out our worship in a fitting way.

When we see life from the highest point of view, we come to realize that we are all brothers and sisters. Ontology refers to “being.” Ontological siblings means that at the deepest level all of us are members of a single family since God is the Father of all. This sense of solidarity that we are all members of the mystical body of Christ has power to transform our society. Our Gospel acclamation says it well: “Your word, O Lord, is truth; make us holy in the truth.”

Questions for reflection

1. What gifts has God given to you?

2. How do we know if our worship is right?

3. What meaning do you assign to being an ontological sibling?

Bishop Morneau is the auxiliary bishop of the Green Bay Diocese and pastor of Resurrection Parish in Allouez.

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