Vinnie and I went to the lake house on Friday so when I woke up this morning – wide awake at 6:22am – I decided to go to Mass. One of the closest towns in the Bridgeport Diocese to Waterbury was Bethel.
Bethel had one church and mass was at 8:00am. I decided to go there. Ironically, St. Mary’s would finish out my Grandmother’s channeling from last week….Theresa, Agnes, Ann, and now St. Mary’s -DONE!!
The church was pretty. Again, being only the next quaint town over from Newtown, the thoughts of the tragedy of Dec. 14, 2012 school shooting struck me as so strange. Such a safe, quaint, pretty little CT town rocked with tragedy and sadness – so strange.
The young looking priest with the buzz-cut did a fast sermon about the disciple Matthew who was a tax collector who followed Jesus. He asked us to put aside the notion of the dreaded tax collectors everyone hated back then and recognize the fact that to be a tax collector he had to be able to read and write. Matthew was probably the most educated disciple Jesus had! He asked us overlook Matthew’s weaknesses and consider his strengths. He wanted us to recognize that God had given Matthew strengths and Jesus recognized and validated them. Matthew ultimately used his strengths to serve God as a follower of Jesus.
Then the priest asked us to look at ourselves and recognize our own strengths God gave us and asked us how do we use these strengths to serve God and others?
Great question! It struck me that most people, including myself, are quick to highlight and point out their weaknesses and flaws. It is hard for people, in general, to identify and freely talk about their strengths comfortably. We’re probably afraid of looking like we are bragging or boasting or being viewed as egotistical. Part of this may be that we are often very quick to judge others when they do point out their own talents or strengths and we don’t want to be judged as we so readily judge others. In reality, by recognizing your strengths we could be thanking God for them in a more public way when we use those strengths to serve others. Something to think about.
Kind of funny the sermon was about talents and God given gifts because after Mass I met my brother for breakfast. Danny is a masterful, talented carpenter. His talents are amazing! BUT…he would NEVER tell you that. He would absolutely see that as bragging! His other amazing God given talent is finding good diners to eat at! I think he knows where the good corned beef hash is in every town in Connecticut.
So we met at Jacqueline’s Diner in Bethel and enjoyed a wonderful breakfast created for us by an obviously talented and gifted chef! Delicious!
Great way to start the day appreciating the talents and gifts of the people around me!