The Gospel reading at Mass today is a rich one, but I couldn’t get past Peter’s response to the beggar at the Temple gate in the first reading:
I have neither silver nor gold, but what I do have I give you …
Peter’s gift to the beggar was more valuable, one might say, than precious metal. He was the means by which the Name of Jesus effected a healing. Pretty noticeable and significant.
For most of the rest of us, we certainly do not have something as rich as gold or as spectacular as a healing. When we approach others in ministry, in service, or even in love, do we echo Peter even though we know a miracle isn’t forthcoming? Are we satisfied or ashamed to offer very little and leave it at that?
The first St Louis Jesuits’ recording borrowed from Acts 3:6 for the title, Neither Silver Nor Gold. For young priests and seminarians, that Scripture, if sincerely applied, shows a realistic view of their first compositions. The intent of any contemporary composer (and I speak from my own attitude and experience here) is to offer what we do have to give. Most of us don’t make a significant income from writing music. Many of us have responded to needs, as did the Jesuits, and wrote without an expectation of shoving aside others more talented or more able.
A few, maybe some, will find a small portion of grace in this. When this happens, do as Peter did: point to Christ.