John Connelly


33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – November 16, 2014
Proverbs 31.10-13, 16-18, 20, 26, 28-31 | Psalm 128 | 1 Thessalonians 5.1-6 | Matthew 24.36; 25.14-30
November 3, 2014

Talents. We all have them. Some are used, some undeveloped, some buried completely.

Master, you handed over to me two talents; see I have made two more talents. – Matthew 25.22

'Master, you handed over to me two talents; see I have made two more talents.'

Matthew 25.22

The parable of the talents reminds us we are here for a purpose. Are we living the mission we are created to live? Are we using our talents to shine the light of Christ in our world today?

All of us have probably wondered if the life we are living is the one we are destined to live. We question God and question ourselves.

But really, Jesus is pointing us to a bigger picture. He is not just telling us to develop our talents. He is calling us to spend those talents freely on living and preaching the Gospel.

In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis challenges us, "I dream of a 'missionary option,' that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church's customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channelled for the evangelization of today's world rather than for her own preservation" (27).

All of us are called to be missionaries in our own sphere of activity. Am I using my gifts to impact the world around me?

Pope Francis dreams of a Church that sees itself as missionary. He dreams of a Church unafraid to pour itself out for humanity. This is why each of us needs to pray, meditate, and contemplate our gifts and talents. No matter how small they seem, they are important.

We are all different. We do not have to imagine ourselves doing great things. We only need to give Jesus permission to use our lives to express his truth and love. We only need to be open to the talents God has placed in us.

Service. Music. Art. Administration. Hospitality. Discernment. Friendship. Intercessory prayer. Listening. Speaking. The list goes on. Talents exercised with the love of Christ can transform the world.

Look at the people and situations in our lives. Let us look at ourselves with a prayerful heart.

Jesus is calling. He is calling us to let him live in us. Whenever we use our talents with love, Jesus is alive in us.

Again, Pope Francis captures the spirit of the parable of the talents in a wonderful way: "When we live out a spirituality of drawing nearer to others and seeking their welfare, our hearts are opened wide to the Lord's greatest and most beautiful gifts.

"Whenever our eyes are opened to acknowledge the other, we grow in the light of faith and knowledge of God. If we want to advance in the spiritual life, then, we must constantly be missionaries. . . .

"We do not live better when we flee, hide, refuse to share, stop giving and lock ourselves up in our own comforts. Such a life is nothing less than slow suicide" (The Joy of the Gospel, 272).

Jesus, we surrender our gifts and talents to you. Teach us to use them freely as your missionary disciples. Amen.