From the Pastor's Desk
This penultimate Sunday of the liturgical year reminds us not only of the end of the liturgical year but also of the end of all things and of the preparations we need to make to reach Heaven. The main theme of the three readings is an invitation to live in such a way that we make the best use of the talents God has given us, so that at the hour of our death Our Lord will say: “Well done, my good and faithful servant!... Come and share the joy of your master” Matthew 25: 21).
The first reading suggests that we should be as diligent and industrious as a loyal and faithful wife, in the use of our God-given gifts and talents with “the fear of the Lord.” Unlike the one-talent man, she takes her gifts and “brings forth good, not evil”; she “reaches her hands to the poor and extends her arms to the needy.”
In today’s Responsorial Psalm, Ps 128, the Psalmist echoes the concept of the blessedness of the faithful servant of the Lord. The Psalm affirms that the fear of the Lord is the key to human happiness and success. In the second reading, Paul advises us to keep awake and be sober, encouraging and building each other up as we wait for the “Day of the Lord.” He challenges the Thessalonians to turn fear of the Lord into positive, constructive and life-affirming action. In the second reading, Paul advises us to keep awake and be sober, encouraging and building each other up as we wait for the “Day of the Lord.” He challenges the Thessalonians to turn fear of the Lord into positive, constructive and life-affirming action.
Today’s Gospel challenges us to ask the questions: Are we using our talents and gifts primarily to serve <God? Are we doing everything we can to carry out God’s will? The parable of the talents challenges us to do something positive, constructive and life-affirming with our talents here and now.
1) We need to trust God enough to make use of the gifts and abilities we have been given. We may be especially talented in teaching children or cooking meals or repairing homes or programming computers. So, we should ask ourselves how we are using our particular gifts in the service of our Christian community and the wider society.
2) We need to make use of our talents in our parish. In addition to our homes and families, the best place to do this is in our parish. This means that we should be always willing to share our abilities in creative worship in the church and in various ministries of our parish, such as Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, lector, usher, Sunday school teacher, singer in the choir, volunteer and member of one or more parish organizations and community outreach programs.
3) We need to "trade" with our talent of Christian Faith: All of us in the Church today have received at least one talent namely, the gift of Faith. Our responsibility is not just to preserve and “keep” the Faith, but to work with it. We need to promote and add value to Faith by living it out. The way to preserve the Faith, or any other talent that God has given us, is to put it to work and make it bear fruit. It’s difficult to give God any percentage of our time, talent or treasure if we do not give him 100 percent of our hearts.
Our deepest reason for giving is not because our parish has needs, but because we have spiritual need to give. We are called to give to God from our first fruits, and to recognize that everything comes from him. Our gifts to God should be out of Faith and gratitude for what God has done for us. Just like the apostles who laid down their nets the moment that Jesus called them, we should lay down everything, even something as important to us as our finances, to follow Christ. God’s promises to us is a promise of life and security when we place all of our trust in Him. “The Lord will be with you and will never fail you or forsaken you. So do not fear or be dismayed’. (Deuteronomy 31:8)