The Gift of Beauty

An Everyday Stewardship Reflection for the 5th Sunday of Easter 2016

Mickey & TEW

I met Brother Mickey McGrath, OSFS, when I was in college. He was my art history teacher. He was pretty young then, so he was also strangely enough in my circle of friends. It was great having him as a teacher, even if I wasn’t the best art history student. However, what I did learn from him was less about history and more about the power of creativity. He is doesn’t teach in a college setting anymore, but he does paint and draw much like we eat and drink: that is, constantly. He leads retreats dealing with aspects of art and creativity and is a speaker in heavy demand. But what strikes me the most about his life now is where he lives: Camden, New Jersey.

He lives in an area known for crime and poverty, in the most violent city in New Jersey. He creates beauty each day in an area that many find only ugliness. In the midst of tragedy and hate, he gives a witness of beauty and love.

It is easy to bring more beauty into that which is already beautiful. It is the using of God’s gifts and the decision to co-create with God in the face of the distortion and perversion of life that is more difficult. It is allowing God to use you to make things new.

What gifts have been given to you so that God can work through you to make all things new? Have you only used those gifts in a manner that was easy and cost very little of you? How wonderful is it that God should choose you to give such gifts! Don’t just show your gifts to those who already love you, but show them to those who need to see them the most. Through you and your gifts, those in need will see that indeed, God‘s dwelling is with the human race.

“Be who you are and be that well.”  – St. Francis de Sales


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