By the Faithful Disciple
GROW AS A DISCIPLE
When we think of gifts, we may picture a child eagerly ripping into wrapping paper on a birthday or at Christmas. Oh, the anticipation and the joy seen through a child’s eyes! In contemplating today’s Scriptures, it occurs to me that the gifts God has given to us should fill us with the same joy and sense of gratitude as that child. Although there are many facets to the parable of the talents which Jesus tells his disciples in today’s Gospel, what stands out to me comes at the very beginning: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.” No small thing to be entrusted with the master’s possessions! In the same way, God entrusts us with his gifts – they are all we have and all we are. And, like the master in the parable, God expects us to use our gifts and talents to build his kingdom here on earth – to multiply his goodness in the world.
Does the parable seem a bit harsh at the end? After all, the last servant didn’t squander the money he was given, he simply gave it back in the same form in which it was given to him. But let’s think about our generous God and the gifts and talents he has given us. God expects us to use these gifts, not hide them under a bushel. If we are lazy with and inattentive to our God-given gifts, they will shrink and fade away. We will be squandering our invitation to full participation in the kingdom of God. Obviously, each of God’s children has unique gifts, just as the servants in the parable received different numbers of talents according to their ability. With this in mind, let us consider how we can share our singular gifts and help others do the same. No gift or talent is too small, and God has given us everything we need to use each gift wisely. Empowered by God’s love and grace, let us use our blessings for his glory.
The imagery of the “wicked, lazy” servant being punished, coupled with St. Paul’s words that the Lord will come “like a thief at night,” impart urgency to the task before us. In order to be prepared to give God an accounting of how we are using his gifts, let us start growing them today. Offer forgiveness, love someone whom it is hard to love, show mercy; in other words, be a blessing to others and see how that goodness multiplies.