Grace to you!
I used to teach at a Catholic High School (Secondary School) in Nigeria. I remember how I gave tasks of a non-academic nature to the students, what is called extra curriculum activities. Some students handle their tasks so well that, as a teacher, I was tempted to let them manage more and more tasks.
From time to time, you may have seen or heard the frustration of supervisors or employers who have an employee who doesn’t seem to get things done, or done well and timely. Those kinds of people rarely get promotions and are the easy target for layoffs. The principle is that to whom much is given much is also expected.
Or have you had to plan a special dinner for a special event or friend and found that the person who claimed to be an expert planner was simply a joke? By the time you knew it, it was already too late. Your event is ruined. Would you like to hire that person again or get him or her solely involved in the planning of your event, even if for free?
There is a similar situation in the spiritual life. God’s gifts are available depending on how we are ready to use them, and our capacity to receive them, honoring the intention of the donor. If the intention of a donor of a gift is respected, more gifts tend to flow, does it not?
Would you still donate to an organization when you found the money you donated to buy food for the poor was used to renovate private homes of the directors of the organization?
From our Christian understanding, every gift and blessing we have received has a goal, a purpose. It’s ultimately for our blessing and happiness, as well as for the blessing of others, and ultimately to glorify God.
Let’s talk about money. Money is simply an exchange commodity. Remove the exchange function or use money to acquire a commodity that is destructive to us, we have a sorry story rather than a blessing.
Think of the money spent on drugs that are dangerous to health or other things inimical to true peace and happiness. Consider the money wasted on nuclear armament, when the poor are in our neighborhoods. Or the money we spend on things, not because we need them, but because we want to make a show or to feel “I have arrived.”
Jesus is asking us to be responsible with every little thing we have received and use it for his glory and our salvation. The more responsible we are with every little gift, the more the donor could give more and the better we are for it.
This law applies to spiritual blessings, like the supply of actual grace, fruits of the Spirit like joy, peace, kindness, happiness, etc., and the supply of spiritual gifts that make us do more for ourselves, for others and for God’s glory.
How about we reassess how we have used the gifts God has given us, including money? If they have only been used for ourselves, we may want to reevaluate our choices, sense of responsibilities and generosity. Using our gifts, talents and blessings, not simply for ourselves, but for others and for God’s glory and salvation of many, will be a spiritual homerun.
I love that biblical quotation: “For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone” (Romans 14:7).
May God give us the grace to use our gifts, talents and blessings responsibly. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu
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.