“Don’t give your oil away.” A wise woman said that to me many years ago when I was discerning a vocation as a lay woman in the church. At the time, I had sensed there was great wisdom in her warning, but I wasn’t exactly sure what my “oil” was!
After many years of ministry, with a multitude of lessons learned, gifts received, as well as heartaches, I’m beginning to learn what my oil is. It is the light that shines in you so all can see God’s marvelous deeds. It’s the balm of peace knowing that what God has given you to do is exactly what you are called to do. It’s what makes you one-of-one, flavoring everything you do with your unique gift. Pope Benedict XVI said it this way to his own priests and parish councils: “Every person carries within himself a project of God, a personal vocation, a personal idea of God on what he is required to do in history to build his Church, a living Temple of his presence.”
You can’t borrow or buy someone else’s oil and expect to be recognized as your true self. This oil is already within you. Don’t waste it on what does not bring Christ’s light to the world.