Gifts from God
It is good to often remind ourselves and our children, that nothing really belongs to us. “All is grace” (St. Therese). Everything is a gift from God, the Creator, Lord and Master of all. The sun and the entire universe – it all belong to God. The Earth upon which we live has been entrusted to us that we, as God’s stewards, tend to it and take care of it on His behalf.
Life itself and our time here on earth – is a gift. Children are also a special gift, entrusted to parents only for a short time, to be raised as sons and daughters for God’s kingdom. All temporal possessions and finances – everything has been given to us by God’s Providence, for our use and to share with those in need. Special talents and abilities were planted by God’s hand, when we were still being formed in our mother’s womb. And finally, in the mystery of baptism, we have received the greatest gift possible, the Holy Spirit, God Himself, Who anoints us and has chosen to dwell within us. From Him we receive grace upon grace, from moment to moment.
God trusts us!
In the gospel parable we heard today, it says that before leaving for another country, the Master “called his own servants and delivered his goods to them… to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one to each according to his own abilities” (Mt 25:14-15). What Jesus is trying to tell us today through this parable, is that God our Father trusts us with His wealth. He calls us to Himself and from the abundance of His goodness He bestows upon us so many good things, believing that we will not squander them during our life here on earth, but that we will use it wisely for His glory, for the benefit of others, and for our own spiritual growth and sanctification.
Who is the servant, who buries the master’s treasure in the earth, and gives back the money with no return to his Lord? This is the person who uses what belongs to God only for selfish needs and earthly concerns. There is no sincere love for God and no love for others, only for self.
The good and faithful servant glorifies God because he develops the gifts entrusted to him and he uses them for the benefit of others. You will find these dedicated servants all around you: parents, friends, teachers, leaders, administrators, counselors, physicians and nurses, musicians, artists, builders and creators, faithful workers and employees, doing the best the can, because God deserves the best.
God Expects a Return
God is free to do as He wishes. He is free to give what He wants, to whom He wants. In the end, it doesn’t really matter whether you have been given five talents, or two talents or only one. The gifts themselves do not make us holy. It is when we persevere in using what God has given, that we grow in holiness and in love; and we truly become rich in the sight of God. God expects a return on His investments. One day He will ask us to give an account for what we did with the gifts He entrusted to us; and He wants us to grow.
At every Divine Liturgy we pray for that final day. Just before Communion we ask “for a good account before the awesome judgment seat of Christ” and we pray, “Grant this, O Lord.”
Grant us, Lord, one more special gift: that when we come before You on that last day to give an account of our life, that we too, may hear those beautiful words we heard in today’s reading: “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Mt 25:21)