Grace to you!
Phil is a great achiever who has a talent for capitalizing on little opportunities. He claimed that he gains insight into things when he pays attention to details during discussions with people. He listens in-between the lines and has a way of identifying what is important. When he sees any window of opportunity, he isn’t afraid to follow the lead. He has become a very successful investor by paying attention and making calculated, but bold, investments.
The line between being great and exceptionally great is thin. The line between exceptionalism in the use of our talents and simply being alive and not reaching self-fulfillment is equally slim. I have not seen greatness when hard work and paying attention to details are completely ignored. Such rarely happens.
From the Saints whose lives are holy role models to us, to leaders in various fields of life we admire, great people use their talents and work hard to live a legacy of service.
The Lord, the leader and teacher par excellence, teaches us the great truth for life in the parable of the talents (Read Matthew Mt 25:14-15, 19-21). Three classes of people are represented in the story. Those blessed with five talents, two talents, and one talent. They were blessed according to their ability. This is fair. Isn’t it?
Some would say, why not give everyone the same talent? We forget that diversity of talents is the beauty of life. There are singers, dancers, designers, readers, writers, brick makers, etc. Each person’s talent fits his or her nature; and when put together, we would have a world we all love. Otherwise we will be living in a monotonous world. Diversity is strength. The giver of the talents knows and gives to each one according to their nature and ability.
According to the parable, the first two doubled their talents and were praised and rewarded with more blessings by their master for their hard work and sense of responsibility. Lesson, the more we use our talents, the more they multiple.
The person with one talent was ungrateful for what he had. Scripture says "out of fear" he didn't use his talent; he buried it and returned it to the master. We read that his master condemned his lack of responsibility and took the one talent he had and gave it away to another who had more talents.
Pay attention to what fear could do in not maximizing your potentials. Many are afraid of making mistakes. Rather than take risks and make mistakes, they like to settle in where they are and do nothing. We forget that immobility is inaction; inaction where we should act is irresponsible. Irresponsibility because of fear of failure or because of what people could say or because we don’t want to go beyond out comfort zone seems to me the way to spiritual unfruitfulness.
At every stage of our life, young or old or retired, making the best of what we have is a perfect way to show our gratitude and to serve. It’s responsibility.
What is your talent? Talent is a natural gift. Unlike spiritual gifts, you can improve your talent by using it. You can improve your singing skills by singing; your dance steps by dancing. Improve your organizational skills by organizing; your reading and writing skills by reading and writing. There is no better way to add to your service skills except by serving, or your business skills save by doing business.
Talents are given to be put to use. Watch against fear, that monster that hums with the clashing voice of laziness and inactivity. Fear is a terrible thing, preventing us from living our dreams and being the best the Lord wants us to be.
Scripture says, you’ve not received the spirit of fear but freedom, power, love and self-confidence (2 Tim 1:7). Act with boldness. Make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. No house is built if no bricks and woods are shattered. Success is built with the manure of numerous sacrifices, sufferings and failures.
Get to work with your talents. I pray you do.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Sunday Week 33: Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; 1 Thes 5:1-6; Mt 25:14-30 or Mt 25:14-15, 19-21]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.