Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Are you ready to give an account?

In tomorrow's Gospel we see the king giving to each of his servants a gold coin.  Each of them receives one coin and is expected to do his best with it.  One gains ten coins in interest, and he is rewarded with being put in charge of ten cities.  Another gains five coins, and he is put in charge of five cities. Then comes along another servant who hid the coin in a place where no one could take it, and brought it back later.   He didn't even invest it in the bank.  The king was furious with him and took the one talent and gave it to the one who already had ten. 

What are we to make of this?  In Mathew's Gospel the gold coin is called a talent.  We can see that a little better when we think about talent's and abilities.  To some are given few talents, to some many.  Some of us are teachers.  Some of us are administrators.   Some of us are musicians.  Some can sing.  Some are good with numbers.  Some good with cleaning.  God gives to each person many abilities and 'talents.'  He reminds us that all of them are to be used for His glory, for His kingdom.  We will be asked to give an account of how we used those talents. 

We aren't asked to provide the same amount of fruit, or even the same kind of fruit.. but we are asked to bear fruit.  God has given each of us gifts.  Through our baptism we are given the Holy Spirit.  The fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  We are challenged to go out with these talents, with these fruits and to spread them into the world.  We are called to be joyful.  How do we increase that talent?  By bringing joy to others.  We are called to be kind.   We increase that by being kind to others and teaching them to be kind in return.  Each of the fruits requires us to go out, using the natural talents we have been given, to spread the fruits of the spirit into our world. 

For each of us that looks different.  For parents it means educating your children, loving them, being patient with them, teaching them what Catholic life really looks like.   For grand parents, it means being there for your grand children and helping them to learn how to live out their baptismal calling.  For teachers, it means being patient and kind in your classroom and fostering an environment where the fruits begin to flourish.  No matter what we do; farmer, electrician, doctor, lawyer, homemaker, dentist, accountant, etc... we are to use those skills that God has endowed us with to help bring about His kingdom right here.

As we approach the end of the liturgical season and head into the season of Advent, we are reminded by the readings that we should be ready.   These readings talk about the great event at the end of time where God will ask us to give an accounting for what we have been given.  To those who much has given, much is required.  "With great power, comes great responsibility."  Such simple words from a comic book character, but they ring true to us as Christians.  Do you think of the power you've been given?  God himself has come to reside in you.  Are you sharing him with others?  Or hiding him in a handkerchief?  Don't be afraid of losing your joy.  Don't be afraid that someone might steal it.  Rather, realize that with the gifts of the spirit, the only way to keep them... is to continually give them away. 

So let's go for it.  Find someone today to share one of these fruits with.  Use your natural, God given talents to do so.   Share some love.  Some joy.  Some kindness.  Watch that fruit blossom and grow, that at the end of our temporal lives we can hear him say "You have been faithful in this very small matter, well done my good and faithful servant."

In Christ,
His servant and yours,