#DailyDevotion God Has Bestowed You With Talents To Serve Your Neighbor And The Church
Read Dan 1:1–21
Dan 1:17-21 As for these four youths, God gave them learning and skill in all literature and wisdom, and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams. (18) At the end of the time, when the king had commanded that they should be brought in, the chief of the eunuchs brought them in before Nebuchadnezzar. (19) And the king spoke with them, and among all of them none was found like Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. Therefore they stood before the king. (20) And in every matter of wisdom and understanding about which the king inquired of them, he found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters that were in all his kingdom. (21) And Daniel was there until the first year of King Cyrus.
God endows us all with natural skill and abilities at birth. It is good to realize this and to give him thanks and praise and to use those skills and abilities as best we can to serve our neighbor. We see in today’s lesson that Daniel and his friends were endowed at the outset with skill and ability fitting that of those born into noble families. There were born into households that were set to be leaders of God’s holy people. But now they were in a foreign land and the Lord saw to it that they would be set apart to be leaders in the household of Babylon.
On top of those skills and abilities with which they were born with, having been set apart for learning the ways of the Babylonians, the Lord now specially endows these young men with learning, skill in literature and wisdom. Daniel is also bestowed with the ability to have understanding in all visions and dreams. So well endowed were Daniel and his friends by the Lord, at the end of their training the king questions them and finds them 1o times better than all the advisors in his kingdom. This would serve them and the Jews there in Babylon well during the time of their exile.
We would do well to remember that we too have natural abilities and gifts from the Lord. They are given to us at birth that we may serve our neighbor. As we become Christians, the Lord also bestows upon those whom he chooses special gifts of the Spirit that they may serve not only the neighbor but also the Church. There won’t be any sparks going off above your head and nor will most of these gifts be seen as “magical.” Besides the ability to interpret dreams and visions, Daniel and his friends did not receive miraculous gifts, but an increase in their already natural abilities. We don’t need to take spiritual inventories to find out what gifts the Lord has bestowed upon us for the Church. Chances are, you and everyone around you knows what you are able to do. So when the time comes for the Church to need your abilities, don’t shy away from it fearing failure. Simply do to the best of your ability that which you are being called to do.
St. Paul reminds us, Rom 12:4-8 “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, (5) so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. (6) Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; (7) if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; (8) the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” This list isn’t exhaustive. Nothing particularly spectacular either. As you are members with Christ’s body, those talents, abilities, and skills you have should be used for the good of Jesus’ body, the Church.
Lord Jesus Christ, you have called us to be members of your mystical body, the Church and have endowed us with peculiar gifts and skills. Grant us faith to use them for the good of our neighbor and your body, the Church. Amen.