The theme of Sunday’s readings is respect for the Lord and a desire to bear fruit for Him.
The first reading from Proverbs speaks of the attributes of the perfect wife. She brings good into the life of her husband and family, not grief. She is industrious and productive with her talents, never selfish but generous towards the poor. She is God fearing and she will be rewarded for her good works. The perfect wife has all the characteristics of the fruitful servants in today’s Gospel.
St Paul in the second reading reminds the Thessalonians to live a life of Faith, respecting the Lord and striving for holiness. If they live a life of Faith, they won’t have to fear the Lord’s return, but the unrepentant sinners will have something to fear.
In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus tells the parable or the Talents. With the three servants there is a great difference between first two and the third. The first two used their God-given talents well for the glory of the Master. The third however, had never really come to know the goodness of the Master, he was lazy and buried his talent. The Master in the parable is God and we are the servants. A correct knowledge and understanding of our Good God, helps us to put our talents as His service. To those who do this and correspond with God grace, more will be given, but for the one has does not, even what he had will be taken away.
Whatever gifts we have of nature and grace come from our Creator. God has given us just the right talents for each one of us. It is not good to compare ourselves with others, for God knows what is best for each one of us. What is important that we use what God has given us. The perfect wife in the first reading did not waste time, but used her talents well, for the good of her husband and family. Jesus has given us many spiritual riches such as Baptism, the Word of God, The Catechism, Prayer, Confession, Eucharist and Confirmation and our various tertiary qualifications. God expects a return and wants to see our talents doubled.
One has to recognise one’s nothingness and expect to get everything from God
We see the multiplication of talents in the lives of the Saints. For example, St Therese Lisieux the Carmelite Nun, who through her life of prayer and come to know her Master so well, that she had complete and utter confidence in His love for her. She wrote: one has to recognize one’s nothingness and expect to get everything from God. Just as a child looks to his or her father for everything. The Scriptures became her daily food during her hours of mental prayer and God multiplied her talents, so she is now recognized as a Doctor of the Church, after having died at only 24 years of age. Another example is St John Vianney. He may be compared to the servant who was given one talent. He lacked academic ability and was actually expelled from Seminary, because he found it difficult to learn and to cope with Latin. However, he was personally instructed by a very holy Moral Theologian outside Seminary and eventually ordained for the Priesthood. For the first years of Priesthood he was not even permitted to hear Confessions. However, as Parish Priest of Ars in France, unlike the third servant in the parable, he was so diligent and full of zeal in carrying out his duties as a Priest that God filled him with amazing gifts. For example, the ability to read souls and he became one of the greatest Saints of the Church, with thousands from all over France going each week to Ars for him to hear their Confessions and receive from him spiritual direction.
The times we are living in are times of stress and sin; but where sin abounds grace abounds even more. These are now times where intense prayer is needed, the times of just talking about the problems in the Church and world are over. Through prayer we come to know God better and we grow in confidence in the Lord, which is borne from a humble contrite heart. We can see the profound humility in the lives of the Saints. We have all been given talents, let’s not hide them but use them to help build up the Mystical Body of Christ. The greatest gift God is offering us now though is the New and Divine Holiness, which comes to us through the writings of Servant of God, Luisa piccarreta. Jesus says “This is the Greatest Gift of all gifts! I have nothing more to give you.” And HOW we need this DIVINE GIFT to HEAL our wounded WORLD.
Praise be Jesus Christ, now and forever!