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Chaplain’s Address Fr. Ryan A. Muldoon on 12 April 2022
Brothers, my apologies for not being able to be with you this evening. We celebrate today the Chrism Mass, where all the priests of the Archdiocese join with Cardinal Dolan to—among other things—renew our priestly commitment to the Lord and to the people of the Archdiocese of New York. In that spirit, I’d like to propose for our meditation tonight an excerpt of a column written by Cardinal Dolan in the most recently issue of Archways magazine. You all are quite good at sharing your gifts, so His Eminence’s words made me think of you. I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Easter!
“GIFTED BY OUR LORD”
His Eminence, Timothy Michael Cardinal Dolan
Archways Spring 2022
You are all familiar, I’m sure, with the term re-gifting. It’s what you call it when someone gives you a present that you don’t want or need, so you wrap it back up and give it to someone else. Many people look down on this practice.
But when it comes to God’s gifts, the equation changes completely. Because we’re not meant to keep God’s gifts for ourselves. The Lord is delighted when we re-gift them.
Consider the gifts He gives us in spring. Stepping outside, we feel the warmth of sunshine. We see flowering gardens and trees. We hear birds singing and children laughing. These are all gifts from God, and there’s no way for us to keep them for ourselves.
The same is true of our God-given talents and our material wealth. We are meant to share these things with others.
In spring, when we see new growth bursting forth everywhere, we are reminded of the greatest gifts of all: life itself and the love of our Creator. On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. We are reminded that He walked among us and gave His own earthly life so that we might live forever in Heaven.
As we thank the Lord for his innumerable gifts, we also remain aware of the human pain in our region and around the world. While the pandemic has largely eased in New York, we cannot forget the many here and abroad who died or lost loved ones, and those still suffering the economic impact. Nor can we turn our backs on the brutal humanitarian tragedy unfolding in Ukraine and other war torn parts of the world. At times like these, we must take stock of our own gifts from God – our time, talent, and treasure – and share as much as we can to help people who are suffering.
Because, in the end, that is what God’s gifts are for: re-gifting.