The Silent Gift

1 Cor 9:16-19, 22-27 / Lk 6:39-42

It is a matter of both experience and faith that each of us has been showered with multiple gifts to be used not only for our own joy, but for the good of God’s people. Each of us has something that’s needed; each of us is called to reproduce Christ in our own person and to become peacemakers and life-givers as He was.

In today’s epistle, St. Paul takes us on to the next step: The “how” as well as the “what.” Even though he was a great talker and writer, he knew that that wasn’t the way to bring a person to a change of heart and to transformation. So as often as not he simply “walked” with people, and shared their lives, their doubts, and their fears. As he explained it, “To the weak I become a weak person with a view to winning the weak. I have made myself all things to all men in order to save at least some of them…”. Educators have a way of saying this: “Be the guide at the side, not the sage on the stage.”

Every one of us can do that for the people around us: Walk with them sympathetically, hear their stories, share their ups and downs compassionately, and silently offer the gift of our good example. As Paul noted, it won’t work every time, but with God’s grace, the odds are not bad.