“Without cost you have received, without cost you are to give” (Mark 10:8b). Gratitude. Humility. Thankful. Sacrifice. Share. Prayer. Authority. Heal. These are all words that come to my mind as I read the Gospel. And I ponder what I have received without cost.
And then it hits me. Everything I have I have received without cost. How can I say that? On the surface it does not seem to make sense. I, like most people, regularly trade my time and talents for money; it is called work, career, or ministry. Our talents and time though, are gifts that we received from God Most High. We can choose to put those at His service and for the good of others.
I often find myself at odds with the second part of the verse, “without cost you are to give.” In fact, I can spend lots of time thinking about how much it costs me to give. How much does it cost me to give love, care, concern, kindness, mercy? It costs as much as I want to believe it costs.
When I remember that all I have received has been without cost then I can give without counting the cost. But when I start to tally up when I have given and what I want in return, I am not the person God created me to be or the person I want to be. Does that ever happen to you?
During this season of Advent, it is a good time to reflect on what we have received. Make a list. It can include intangibles like faith and hope, people you love, your talents, material goods, where you live. Try not to judge your list. Then, each day, pray for a few people from your list, ask God to help you grow in a talent or use material things for His glory.
It is not easy to give without cost but that is what we are asked to do. The Incarnation, which is upon us, is the beginning of Jesus giving to us. By virtue of that gift, we receive salvation. My prayer is for us to embrace the gift of salvation that we have received and share it with others by the way we live our lives without counting the cost.
Deanna G. Bartalini, is a Catholic writer, speaker, educator and retreat leader. She is the founder of the LiveNotLukewarm.com community, a place to inform, engage and inspire your Catholic faith through interactive Bible studies, courses and book clubs. Her weekly podcast, NotLukewarmPodcast.com, gives you tips and tools to live out your faith. At DeannaBartalini.com she writes about whatever is on her mind at the moment.
Feature Image Credit: stevepb, https://pixabay.com/photos/savings-budget-investment-money-2789112/