November 15, 2020: Homily- 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
This Sunday reminds us, not only of the end of the liturgical year, but also of the end of all things and of the preparations we need to make to reach Heaven. The main theme of the three readings is an invitation to live in such a way that we make the best use of the talents God has given us, so that at the hour of our death Our Lord will say: “Well done, my good and faithful servant!… Come and share the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21)
Jesus in today’s gospel parable of the talents tells us a story of a wealthy landowner who was preparing for a long journey. He calls his three servants and divides his money between them, each according to their ability and expects them to administer these. To one servant he gave five talents, to a second two, and to a third one. In Jesus’ time, a talent was a measure of money.
We can understand the talents in today’s gospel as symbols of any of the gifts given to us by God, especially our faith and we use these gifts to build His kingdom. God has entrusted us with so many talents, skills, graces, blessings and gifts. Everyone has received something from God. It may be in the form of material riches or special talent or skill. Life itself is a talent. Time is a talent. Treasure is a talent. They are talents we have to invest. God is certainly delighted if we use all of these to the fullest. The greatest gift God has given to us is the Gift of Himself.
We might be tempted to ask, “Why am I not like them?” “Why am I not blessed with good looks or with a musical ear or sports skill? ”There are some persons who have great intellectual capabilities, and some who do not. There are some who have the ability to project and articulate their thoughts, and there are some who cannot. “Does God have favorites?”
But we are all equal in the eyes of God. Yes, we received unequal talents but we received the same reward, the joy of belonging to God’s Kingdom. God simply did not make us all the same. It does not matter what and how many talents we receive. What counts is how we used these talents. Indeed, all gifts from God are equally precious.
Let us be aware that all these remain God’s property – whether it’s a talent, ability, asset, money and others, they are God’s. We are only administrators of these gifts. We cannot dispense these as we please. We must use these (talents and abilities) according to God’s will, for His glory, and in the service of our neighbor.
There was a touching story of a Chinese boy who came from a very poor family in Hong Kong. His parents left him behind to do a housekeeping job in Australia. Gifted with talents for doing stunts and acrobatics, he developed and rose to become a famous movie actor, multi-millionaire and Asia superstar. He is Jacky Chan, the Kung Fu kid.
“We were very poor then,” Jackie Chan recalls. “The Red Cross gave me milk, rice, clothes.” But after he became famous and wealthy superstar, he never forgot the poor from where he rose. Jackie Chan put up a charitable foundation, awards scholarships to needy students and gives donations to the elderly and disabled.
Let us pray that our talents and gifts be used to the fullest. We are called to serve God through the gifts that he has given us.
Are you putting to maximum use your God-given talents and resources? Are you using them not only for yourself but also to help the less fortunate and less gifted?
“What you are is God’s gift to you; what you become is your gift to God.” Think of that.
To conclude, allow me to share with you this words from one priest; An advice to the young: Know your talents, and develop your talents. An advice to the middle-aged: Use and maximize your talents, but don’t abuse your talents. An advice to the old: Prepare for the final accounting of your talents, and pass on your talents to the world you leave behind.
May God bless us.