33rd Sunday in Ordinary TIme (Mt 25:14-30)

The Jewish-American author and Nobel Peace Prize recipient Elie Wiesel wrote in his book Souls on Ice that “When we meet our Creator at the end of our life, we won’t be asked, ‘How well did you use the talents I gave you to love and serve my people on earth?’ Rather, we’ll be asked: ‘How well did you use your talents to become you—the you I created you to be?’

Parable of the Talents

Parable of the Talents

God created each of us with an abundance of talents and the freedom to use them as we see fit; and He also gave us the grace and wisdom to use them wisely. Jesus tells us that we must use our talents even though using them will require us to take risks, because in order to live as God desires we must take risks. God takes a tremendous risk whenever he breathes life into our souls, infuses us with gifts and talents, and grants us the freedom to use our gifts wisely; shouldn’t we risk everything for Him?

In today’s gospel, the word talent is commonly interpreted to be money, but while that is essentially correct, there is another definition that can be applied here as well. In earlier times a talent was a unit of weight not a measure of value. It did not matter what you were weighing—it could be precious metals like gold or silver or it could be flour or salt—a talent of anything weighed the same.

We are all gifted by God with talents and it makes absolutely no difference what kind of talents they might be. What is important is that we use our talents to the best of our ability and not bury them or misuse them.

The servants who used the gifts given them wisely were rewarded with more gifts and their masters joy, not because they produced more than was given but because they had taken a risk with the gifts entrusted to them. The servant who had only one talent was afraid to lose it so he buried it. He took no risk, refused to use the gift he had been given, and squandered the opportunity that had been entrusted to him. For his failure to use his gifts, his gifts were taken from him and given to those who understood what was required of them.

For those who use their talents wisely, those who take risks, they will be entrusted with more! But those who neglect or squander what God has given them will lose all that they have. Last week Jesus told us to stay awake, this week he tells us to use the talents we have been given.

The more we live, the more we risk, the more God will give us in return. Anyone who accepts and uses the gifts God has given them will receive more. This is not a one-time only offer. Each gift used wisely for the glory of God, will result in more gifts received, over and over again.

All that we have, all that we are, all that we can be is a gift of love from God; we must use it or lose it; it is our choice and our obligation.

In her book A Return to Love, Marianne Williamson wrote “We were born to make and manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I will leave you with this thought: God loves you, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it, so are you using your talents to become the you God created you to be?

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: http://deaconscorner.org. Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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