This Sunday, Jesus Christ tells the parable of the talents, where a man gave each of
his servants a number of talents (certain valuable possessions). The first two servants
used the talents they received well, but the third did not (Matthew 25:14-30). After
hearing the parable about the talents, we might ask: “Did we identify more with the
third servant in this parable than with the first two?” Indeed, how often do we fear that
we might lose the little bit we think we have! We may even think that the outcome of
this parable is unfair, for why should the first two servants who have so much receive
more? But this isn’t a parable about fairness. It’s about using the talents that God has
given us, not burying them. It’s about Jesus Christ helping us to bear the fruits of His
Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), which we can do because He has given us many talents,
by His grace, to help us give glory to God, to keep His two great Commandments by
loving Him and our neighbor.
Let’s think of the talents entrusted to parents. A mother and father can teach their
children about the ways of the Lord, and be role models for their children in faith, hope
and love, in patience, justice and kindness; they can help their children to pray and
teach them to treat each other with love and mercy. Day after day, parents can either
bring about the Kingdom of God in their children’s lives or not. And when they do, it
extends to the lives of their children’s children, reaching generations!
Consider a young person who witnesses to his or her faith in Jesus at school. That
one student can inspire many classmates by their courageous witness to the faith, letting
others know that God works in our lives and that we need not be embarrassed talking
about our faith. The inspired classmates can, in turn, witness to others. Think of how
some professional athletes affect others when they publicly give thanks to God for
the talents they have. I’ve often heard athletes say, “I can do all things in Christ who
strengthens me” (from Philippians 4:13).
God has given each of us gifts/talents, especially faith, hope, love, the seven-fold gifts
of His Holy Spirit (wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and
fear of the Lord), His Church, the Sacraments, His Word, prayer, the Communion of
Saints – all to help us proclaim God’s Kingdom, to know, love and serve Him, and to
love our neighbor so as to draw others and ourselves into closer communion with Him.
As we pray for one another, let us pray particularly for our parish’s young people, for
all who are making a Confirmation retreat this weekend and for all in our religious
education classes and in our parish school – praying that we all grow in faith, hope and
love, in deeper communion with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: Come, Holy
Spirit, fill us with Your gifts that we might bear a hundred-fold Your fruits of love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, modesty, self-control and chastity. And may He bring us all to life eternal in Heaven. Amen. Alleluia!
With peace and prayers in Christ,