33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
"A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--to each according to his ability."(Mt. 25:14-30)
How faithful are you with your gifts? In today's parable, we have servants who must demonstrate faithfulness in using their talents properly. Let's focus on one idea from this gospel reading. Trust the giver of the gifts knows our ability.
Do you recall in the book of Genesis how God came to Cain in what could be called a state of depression? God asked, "Cain, why are you angry or dejected?" The writer shows God, the giver of all good gifts, attempting to reassure Cain's sacrifice. Cain received words of affirmation if he would act rightly. God was ready to accept his sacrifice, but something distracted Cain. Some say it was jealousy.
Introduced here is our second glimpse of God searching the hearts of humanity. Remember, God first searched Adam's heart. God now searched Cain's heart and knew that he could make the right decision. Can you envision this powerful scene? God knew what Cain was capable of doing. And just like God knew what Cain could do, God knows our limitations. God placed the gift of faith in Cain and all of us.
Likewise, when the master distributed the talents to his servants, the giver of the talents knew what he was doing. However, like Cain, who did not trust his talent in offering a sacrifice, the one servant did not believe he could do anything with the one talent in his possession. Unfortunately, many people in the church today vacillate over if they have any useful talents. Let's be clear: God does not make mistakes. "The LORD withholds no good thing from those who walk without reproach" (Ps. 84:12).
For this reason, Paul encouraged Timothy, the young evangelist, to stir into flames the gifts of God. Paul would then add that God did not give us a spirit of fear. No, God gave us power, love, and a sound mind. We also have Jesus telling us that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move a mountain. Don't let COVID 19 cause you to bury your gifts, your talents. Be wise and re-evangelize. Use what you have and see your abilities multiply through the Holy Spirit.
Let's liken your one talent to one green pepper. On the surface, you have one green pepper. But if you cut open that one green pepper, bury it, and water it, you will gain many green peppers. But this will not happen until you work with what you have. Remember, the servants with five and two talents all used their abilities to hear the master say, "Well done, good and faithful servant." Be a faithful Church; do the right thing. Don't bury it. Use it.
Author: Evangelist Michael P. Howard, MACS