Today’s readings reminded me of this line from Corinthians. Paul taught us that we have all been blessed with talents from God, not all the same, and we must all share what God gave us in order that everyone may prosper from them. In reading Bishop Barron’s reflection on the Gospel for today, Bishop Barren explains that all the we have is a gift from God and the only way to make our gifts, our talents grow, is to share them with others. We cannot take what God gives us and bury it, be safe, not take any chances with them – what is given to us freely must be shared freely. Our talents may seem small and meaningless to us, but take heed with what we are told this morning…
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Let me give you some examples of what sharing your talent can do…
My wife Sarah started out singing for a children’s choir in her parish; then she sang for a choir in her high school. While singing at a competition with her high school choir, she saw a poster for the Young Catholic Musicians and on a whim, decided to audition for them. It was in that choir she met the love of her life but eventually settled for me. We have been married now for 32+ years, have 8 children and our 5th grandchild on the way. What seemed like a small thing (singing in the children’s choir) has blossomed into a rather large thing. Sarah still shares her talent for music and we are all blessed because of this.
Fr. Bernie Wilkins had a numerous talents growing up – a gifted golfer, a gifted film maker but decided his best talent was to become a priest, a man dedicated to shepherd the sons and daughters of God. Fr. Bernie, as he is called by most who know him, developed a talent for giving moving homilies. One such homily given at a weekday Mass encouraged people to do something great for the Lord – to step out of their comfort zones and share the talents God gave them. He planted a seed. Fast forward many, many years. He had hired me at St. Mary Magdalen in 2002 to be the music director for the parish. When he retired in 2009, I planned a retirement party in his honor and sent notices to all of the parishes he had served. I received an email from two of his former parishioners and they expressed an interest in coming to the retirement party – they had something they needed to say to him. I was a bit concerned because they didn’t go into detail about what is was they wanted to “share”. The night came for the party and the couple introduced themselves to me; I walked with them over to Fr. Bernie and they told him about the homily he gave so many years before to step out of their comfort zone and do something great for the Lord. They did. They opened their home as foster parents and took in countless children who were in need of a safe and protective home; it was a tear filled moment as they shared with Fr. Bernie that is was that “simple” homily given during a weekday Mass that inspired them to do this. One man who had a “simple” talent with giving an inspirational homily and countless children benefited from that.
I know those are only two examples, but they nonetheless teach you the lesson that Christ taught with His disciples with today’s parable. All that we have comes from a God who freely gives all of Himself to us; so to we must take what we’ve been given and share that with others. What a wonderful world this will be when we do this.
Do something great for our Lord today – share your “talents” with those around you. What may seem small to you will become great to others. The more you share, the more you’ll receive in return. Try it, you just might like it.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid; just have faith.
Jesus, I trust in You.
He must increase; I must decrease.