What gifts from God do you bring?

By Vinal Van Benthem | The Compass | October 25, 2018

“Master, I want to see.” Last month I broke the temple on my glasses and ended up wearing them perched sideways on my nose until my eye doctor could fix them. Nearsighted almost all my life, and farsighted more recently, getting my glasses back and being able to see again seemed almost miraculous. Did God give me back my sight?

If I believe that each one of us, including my eye doctor, is an instrument of God, and that our talents are given to us by God, then the answer to that question would have to be “yes.” “Master, I want to see.”

Two more examples: (1) Laser eye surgery. I haven’t had it done myself but several of my friends have. They describe what it’s like to wake up being able to see without having to reach for glasses or put in contact lenses. For them this, too, is nothing short of miraculous. Or (2) the child, born with a defect that can only be corrected by the use of colored lenses, and the doctor who developed the technique for discovering exactly what color was needed. Did God give the child its sight back? Again, the answer would seem to be “yes.”

We are the body of Christ. We sing, “We are many parts; we are all one body.” But do we really know what that means? Do we recognize ourselves to be the body of Christ in our own time? I go to my eye doctor to have my vision checked and he uses his gifts of intelligence and training to help me to maintain my vision. “Master, I want to see.”

God gives each of us gifts. For my eye doctor it’s the gift of healing. For someone else it may be the gift of teaching or creating. Whatever our gift, when we use it for good we make God present in our world.

Bartimaeus called out to Jesus for healing and Jesus heard and answered him. Today Bartimaeus is calling out to us. What gifts do we bring? How do we respond? “Master, I want to see.”

Van Benthem is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and a longtime pastoral minister in the diocese.

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