33rd Sunday in ordinary time A 2020

Remember the accountability about your talent

Readings: Prov 31, 10-13.19-20.30-31; Ps 128, 1-2.3.4-5; 1 Thess 5, 1-6; Mt 25, 14-30

As we approach the end of the Liturgical Year, the Word of God for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time invites us to be ready for accountability about how we have made use of the gifts given to each one of us by God. We ought to appreciate the generosity of the giver but also the potential for growth in each one of us. Due respect to God doesn’t mean having fear of Him, instead all our God-given talents are in need of investment for His Kingdom.

God trusts you

The parable of the talents in today’s Gospel points us to the trust and generosity of God towards His children. Here we recognize the uniqueness of every single human person that moves God to lavish His graces upon us. We should, in a way, never wait for opportunities to knock at our doors because each one of us in his or her uniqueness is an opportunity that needs to be fearlessly explored. We all hold in us an undiscovered treasure. Our gratitude to the Giver who trusts us means making good use of what He has given us. We have to remember that we have been gifted differently yet the giver is the same. St. Paul, writing to the Corinthians says: “There are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of working but it is the same God who inspires them all. “ (1 Cor 12, 4-6). This invites us to contemplate the wealth of God which has no limits. He trusts each one of us in such a way that our “faithfulness in small things” may make us sharers in his joy. All the gifts we have are meant to contribute to the spreading of His Kingdom.

Incapacitated by fear

God expects us to use the capacities and strengths He has given us. Looking at the creativity of the two servants in the Gospel in using the talents given to them, a sharp contrast has been made to the one who buried his talent. All this is made visible at the time of the accountability. If the talent given is one’s personal life, then it means that the third servant buried himself. He dug his own grave in the ground. The motivation for all this is the fear of the master. This was the image that the Pharisees and Scribes had of God. They wanted to keep the law exactly as it was and were caught up in the paralysis of religious truth. The image we have of God determines a lot how we progress on our spiritual journey. It is important to note that the servant who received one talent was not a sinner, nor did he have a bad character. He didn’t squander his master’s wealth. His mistake was that he did not attempt to develop, to use and to grow with the grace given to him by God. The master would have been tolerant of failure, but not of lame excuses. Mother Theresa of Calcutta once said: “What God asks of us is not success but faithfulness in trying.” We may not perform miracles or achieve extraordinary things. God wants us to relate to Him as a loving parent who rejoices at the growth of His children. We ought to use our talents and possibilities for the glory of God and the benefit of others. Using our God-given talents means giving ourselves in loving service. Let us believe in God and exploit the latent potential in us. The religious truth we hold about God shouldn’t thwart the adventure to which God invites us in faith.

Talented for a purpose

The greatest gift that God has given us is the divine life of faith. He has generous sown the seed of faith in each one of us (see Mt 13, 1-23). He has given us grace for a special purpose, that is, for growth, transformation and perfection. God’s life in us is a relationship that can never be exhausted. This gift is not measured in terms of success but in terms of faithfulness. He blesses all our sincere attempts and gives us success in our endeavors. Just imagine the joy of the parents when they see their child make the first steps by walking. God is not the harsh master who reaps where he did not sow, who gathers where he did not scatter. In fact, He is the sower who not only takes care of the garden but also expects growth and fruits at the end. The Kingdom of God belongs to those who are courageous enough to risk and invest their life knowing that they will be partakers in the master’s joy. The talent of faith helps us all to appreciate the giftedness in each human person. Those who are specially talented in the areas of music, art, sports, politics, rhetoric, beauty (but remember today’s first reading: charm is deceitful and beauty is vain), intelligence etc. ought to use their talents in order to uplift others and not only to become celebrated celebrities. In fact, it is God the giver of the talent who has to be celebrated. Remember the capital is not yours. Your life and your talents all come from God. Just be creative with what has been given to you for the greater glory of God! Every human person is a talent/gift of God to the world. The world would be poorer without you. Let us ask the Lord for the grace to discover the hidden or neglected talents especially people with special needs (handicapped), and all those whose success cannot be measured. Let us all appreciate our special giftedness and strive to live the better versions of ourselves! Let us not be imprisoned by the ideals of fashion and success! May each human being (especially the woman) be valued for who s/he is! Let us not exhaust ourselves in working to offer illusions of ourselves to a world that prefers illusions to substance!

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