By Susan Ciancio
During his homily at Mass Saturday night, our priest told an inspirational story about a seven-year-old little boy, and when he had finished, there weren’t a lot of dry eyes in the church.
A few years ago, this little boy was at a church camp and won a silver medal in a soccer competition. He was bursting with pride and wore that medal the entire rest of the week. After the camp was over and the campers had left, one of the counselors cleaning up the cabins saw a note from the little boy. It simply said that he had left his medal in the chapel. Thinking he accidentally forgot it and didn’t have time to retrieve it, the counselor thought that she would go get it and mail it to him. She got to the chapel and began looking on all the pews, on the floor, on the table in the back, etc., but she couldn’t find it. Then she spotted a few chairs stacked up at the foot of the crucifix. She looked upward to the corpus of Christ, and there she saw the silver medal around the neck of our Lord.
That little boy knew that the gifts he had were all given to him by God. And so it was really God who deserved the medal.
What a powerful story! Imagine the insight that this little boy had that compelled him to be thankful for his gifts and give all the glory to God.
We can learn a lot from him.
Everything we have and everything we do comes from Christ. Every blessing we have, every success we have, every ounce of riches, every baby saved, and every mind opened to Christ. It all belongs to Him.
Through us, God works. And when we effect change, save a life, or teach a child, all the glory should go to God. We must remain humble, never seeking accolades or glory for ourselves and never preening our own feathers when we succeed, but acknowledging that all that we have is a gift from God.
And some day, God is going to ask us what we did with the gifts He gave us. He’s going to want to know if we used the oratory skills He gave us to speak against injustices like abortion, euthanasia, and all forms of indignity against human beings. He’s going to ask if we used the writing skills He gave us to influence others, reaching people far and wide to teach about Him. He’s going to ask if we took care of the children He gave us—the greatest gifts in the world—and taught them to be faithful adults. He’s going to ask what we did with our knowledge, with our faith, and with our sense of right and wrong. Did we use them to teach others? Or did we bury them and hide them away, afraid we’d be called names, afraid people would make fun of us, and afraid to stand up for Christ and the Church?
Christ died on the cross for us so that someday we could be united with Him. Yet sometimes we struggle to reach Him. We put ourselves first. We forget to sacrifice. We forget to pray. We choose what’s fun over what is right. And we lose sight of what’s truly important. So let us make a promise to Him that, even though we may stumble and fall sometimes, we will continue to stack the chairs and continue the climb until we reach Him and give Him the glory He deserves.