November 15, 2020
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 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness,
faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity; 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 Christ 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 virtues/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 family, our school and religious education program, and for the Church, our community and country
– praying that we and our leaders all grow in faith, hope and love, giving witness to integrity, truth and honesty, to the dignity of human life and religious freedom, in deeper communion with God: 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, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control and chastity. And may God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit bring us all to life eternal in Heaven. Amen.
With peace and prayers in Christ,
November 15, 2020