HOMILY FOR THE THIRTY-THIRD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME YEAR A.
HOMILY THEME: EXPLORING YOUR GOD-GIVEN TALENTS
BY: Fr Cyril Unachukwu CCE
God never created anybody empty. There is always a particular grace with which He has uniquely decorated each of us. This special inbuilt in us from God is for a particular purpose, an indispensable grace to help us contribute in improving the living condition of men and women and making ourselves fit to live with Him in eternity. May we never lose sight of this unique gifts of God to us and may we be fruitful by our attentive exploration of them; Amen.
In the parable of the Gospel Reading (Mt 25:14-30) Jesus reminds us of God’s special gifts of grace to each of us and in His expectation of us to be productive with these multiplicity of graces, of talents, of the necessary ingredients inherent in us to productively imitate our Creator. Sometimes we are carried away by our quantitative analysis and comparison of the gifts of God in us and in others that we lose sight of their proper end. We must always be certain that God’s interest is not principally the amount of talents we have received from Him but rather our ability to bear corresponding fruits and be productive after the example of Him who made all things and to produce after the models of the things He created; for “He it is Who produces and we can only reproduce His models.”
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The words of the Second Reading from the Book of Proverbs (Prov 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31) uses the imagery of a productive wife in her home to illustrate the possibilities inherent in each of the talents and graces we have received from God. She uses her talents to transform a house into a home where one can find love, peace and calm. The ability to transform a house into a home underlies the faithful and fruitful exploration of the diversity of one’s talents, of the grace we have received from God. On account of this “her husband’s heart has confidence in her, from her he will derive no little profit.” This certainly expresses God’s expectation and delight when we utilize our gifts.
We must however be very careful for there are two attitudes that can make our talents mostly unproductive. Firstly, when we consider them too small or irrelevant to make us stand out. Looking at the array of the saints, many of them became saints by exploring to the best of their ability the talents and gifts that sometimes we consider insignificant. We must always realize that one talent and as much as ten talents can lead to heaven, to that divine encounter that is our heart’s desire for the Giver gives “each in proportion to his or her ability.” Second is the attitude of envy because we think others have more than we do. Nothing suffocates our talents more than this. Remember, the servant went to bury his talent under that ground, in other words, he suffocated his talent that it could neither be useful to himself nor to others.
God’s gift of talents is an invitation to readiness, the readiness which Saint Paul in the Second Reading (I Thess 5:1-6) calls our attention to. To be ready is to live as “sons and daughters of light and of the day.” Readiness lies in faithful and godly exploration of these talents to render their unique dividends to our generation and the generations after. The First Reading ended with an emphatic phrase “let her works tell her praises at the city gates.” Our works, the fruits of our fruitful use of our talents will be our arguments before the Throne of the Just Judge.
It wouldn’t be out of track to think that one of the decisive questions on the Judgment Day could be; “what did you achieve with all the graces and talents I decorated you with?” May we be worthy to hear You, Lord, say these words to us at the end of time “come faithful servant and take possession of the Kingdom prepared for you from time immemorial; Amen.”
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