Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
August 29th, 2009

Howie Kalb, S.J.

Jesuit Community
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To be gifted by God is a wonderful thing.  And God has gifted all of us.  No two in the same way, but with gifts God knows are for our well being and his glory.  The four major characters in today’s Gospel exemplify how God’s gifts can achieve his purpose or destroy it.

John the Baptist was gifted with holiness and the power to convert sinners.  With these gifts he drew many of the Jews to the Jordan where he brought them to repentance and baptism.  His integrity didn’t allow for compromise.  Courageously he chastised the King for his adulterous life with his brother Philip’s wife.  John paid for his efforts being imprisoned and beheaded.

King Herod had the gifts of sovereignty and political power.  He had the potential to bring prosperity and peace to Judea.  Unfortunately he abused his gift and used his power to choose to be an adulterer and murderer by executing the innocent John the Baptist.

Salome had a gift for dancing.  Her gift enabled her to bring beauty and joy to audiences.  She did so for the King and his guests.  It also brought her rewards. Herod would give her anything; even to half of his kingdom. The hatred and cynicism of her mother infected the girl’s choice.  She used her gift for evil as an accomplice in murder.  Hardly the reason God gifted her.

Herodias, the adulteress, undoubtedly was gifted with charm and passion.  She was able to mesmerize Herod, Philip and her daughter.  Her gifts enabled her to manipulate all of them for her own sordid end.  When gifts are corrupted they become like diseases infecting any thing they touch.

Ask yourself: do you believe God has gifted you in any way?  If so, stop to count and reflect on whatever gifts God has entrusted to you.  Should you want to grow spiritually make a genuine effort to develop these gifts. Finally, with greater appreciation for and use of your gifts notice how they bring increased glory to God and more meaning to your life.   

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