November 19, 2023
Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year A)
Jesus told his disciples this parable: “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. Then he went away.” Matthew 25:14–15
Many people dream of doing great things in this life. Those who play sports dream of winning the championship. Those in business dream of growing their business. Artists and actors dream of becoming well-known. In almost everything we do, we dream of excelling. This drive is part of the natural desires God has given to us.
When it comes to the most important part of our lives, we must strive to excel also. What is the most important part of our lives? It is the calling we have received to serve the will of God. Therefore, we must strive to unite our natural desire for excellence with our faith so that we will be driven to fulfill the glorious mission God has entrusted to each one of us.
Every natural ability we have must be seen as a gift, given to us by God for the purpose of glorifying Him and furthering His Kingdom on earth. In our parable today, the man who went on a journey entrusted each of his servants with a large sum of money. To one he entrusted five talents; to another two; to a third, one. A talent was a measurement of precious metals such as silver or gold. In today’s value, one talent of silver would be worth about $30,000 USD. That’s a lot of money entrusted to each of these servants. However, when the master returned, he referred to this initial gift to each as a small amount and then promised to entrust a large amount to the two servants who used the talents well.
From a human perspective, we should see the natural gifts that God has given us as a huge amount. From a divine perspective, we must see every natural gift from God as only the beginning. God has so much more He wishes to bestow upon us. In order to obtain those riches of grace, we must first use well what we have been given for God’s glory and for the furtherance of His Kingdom.
What has our Lord entrusted to you? What gifts and talents do you have? As you think about your natural talents, consider how well you use them for the service of God. Using your natural abilities only for yourself is the same as refusing to use them for God. To the one man who was entrusted with one talent and did nothing with it, the master said, “You wicked, lazy servant!” He then took the one talent away and gave it to the one with ten who was responsible with the master’s money. So in our lives, if we fail to dedicate our natural abilities to the service of God, we will lose even the little we have. But if we unite our natural desire for greatness with the call to serve the will of God, then there is no limit to the riches of grace God will bestow.
Reflect, today, upon how diligent you are in your drive to fulfill the will of God in your life. If you feel as though you cannot make much of a difference, then try to dispel that idea. Try to do small things well. Work at perfecting your charity in your daily life. Commit yourself to daily prayer. Strive to weed out all sin in your life. Do the small things well and God will smile on these little offerings and transform them into a superabundance of grace.
Most generous Lord, You have entrusted to me a particular mission in life. May I work to excel in that mission, even if it seems small and insignificant. As I do, please pour forth Your abundant blessings of grace so that I will excel in giving You the greatest glory possible and will be a greater instrument of the coming of Your Kingdom on earth. Jesus, I trust in You.