Since You Were Faithful...Come, Share My Joy
As we come close to the end of the liturgical year, our scripture readings point us toward the end times. A time to reflect on the meaning of life as we confront the reality of death. We are surrounded with symbols, like the falling tree leaves changing color and prolonged nights of darkness that lead to winter. These realities force us to consider the ultimate point of human existence, death and the end of the world. However, it affords us an opportunity to reflect on our lives and how best we have used the many talents and gifts with which God has endowed us.
In today’s parable, Jesus tells us that God gives men varied gifts. One man receives five talents, another two, and another one. It is not a man’s talent that matters; what is important is how he uses it. We learn from the story that God never demands from us what we do not possess, but he does demand from us the full use of the abilities which we possess. We are not equal in talent, but we can be equal in effort. The parable of talents teaches us that whatever talent we have, little or great, we must lay it at the service of God and neighbor.
We have all come to know that reward for good work is often more work and responsibilities. The two servants who did well were given greater tasks in the work of the master. The one who did nothing with his talent was punished. It is easy for him to say that his talent was so little that he failed to try. He did not invest his talent. He says to himself, “I have so small a talent and I can do so little with it. It is not worthwhile to try, for all the contribution I can make.” He showed ingratitude and allowed fear to deny him an opportunity to share in his master’s business.
He was unwilling to risk it for the common good. There are nations and peoples who hoard wealth and other world resources for their personal benefit. This parable calls us to see that world resources are equitably distributed. Sadly, the gap between rich and poor is widening at an alarming rate. It is a shame and tragedy that in a world deeply blessed many go hungry, homeless, and without healthcare. On the judgment day, there will be wailing and grinding of teeth as a result from the third servant’s refusal to make use of the funds or talents entrusted to him.
With the journey of faith program, all the parishes in the archdiocese are committed to missional and intentional discipleship. This new way of life promotes a flourishing faith community by renewing and aligning all our people, resources, and actions on the mission of Jesus Christ. It is too easy to say “Let the church do it”- educate our children, prepare them for the sacraments, visit the hospitals, reach the unchurched. We are all the church; each of us has gifts of nature and grace which can touch the lives of others. We must stop burying the talents we have and be up and doing.
Let us welcome the life-giving Spirit so that we may be generous to give ourselves without counting the cost. Everyone has talent, rich and poor alike, and we are called to share and invest those talents. Nothing God gives should be considered small. On the last day of our lives, may we hear from God these words: “Since you were faithful in small matters, come, share your master’s joy.”
May God fill you with his grace and joy,
Fr. Vitalis Anyanike