Using Our Talents Wisely
Rev. Fr. Luke A. Veronis
Jesus told to his disciples, “You did not choose me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit that will last” (Jn 15:16). Understanding this foundation of faith helps us see today’s Gospel lesson from a new perspective.
We hear in the Gospel today how a king had three servants. Each one he gave a different amount of talents, which in antiquity were equivalent to amounts of money. To one he gave five talents, to another three, and to the third one talent. Remember, God does not give each of us the same gifts, nor the same amounts. Yet he expects us to use whatever He has given us for His name’s sake. Thus, the king left his servants with their talents. After a period of time, he returned, and asked each servant to give an accounting of their balance. What did they do with the talents they received? How did they use His gifts in a way that glorified Him?
This is a question that each one of us needs to ask ourselves. As Christians, we believe that our life, and all that we have, is NOT our own. God has given us the gift of life, along with each blessing that we possess. He has given us our health, our faith, our families, our intelligence, our physical abilities, as well as each experience in life. These are “talents” that He has loaned us. One day he will call us to account, and ask, “Now, what have you done with the talents I have given you? How have you used them wisely? Have you used them solely for your own benefit, or have you used them for my name’s sake by helping others?”
Our time, our talents, and our treasure! An easy way to look at the gifts God has given us. Have we wisely used each of these gifts – our time, our talents, and our treasure – helping others, serving others, comforting others, and being God’s Ambassadors in the midst of the suffering and needs around us? Or have we used our time, our talents, and our treasure solely for ourselves, and maybe only for our loved ones? Do we understand that this loan from God was given to us with the expectation that we will use each one in a way to serve others, to be God’s presence for those in need?
Let us reflect for a moment on our lives, and think about how we spend our time, our talents and our treasure each day. Whenever I want to challenge someone in the Christian life and help them grow as an ambassador of God, I will ask them to show me two very important books in their life. Show me your calendar and your check book. Your calendar reveals how you spend your time each day and week. Do you spend much of your time only on yourself and your family – in work and in pleasure? How much of your time each day, and each week, do you offer to God? Do you offer God part of your daily time in prayer, in Scriptural and spiritual reading, and through visiting and helping others?
And what about your finances and check book? That is another extremely important book that reveals how you use the treasure with which God has blessed you. Jesus said your heart will be where your treasure is! How much of your treasure is offered to God, through helping others, including the Church? Our money is not our own, but is a loan which God will hold us accountable for. How are we using this financial loan wisely, for God’s sake?
And then there is the issue of our various talents. Each one of us possesses unique and special gifts. What do we do well? One may be a good communicator. Another a good administrator. Another a good listener. Another a practical worker. Whatever your personality and talents, how are you offering them to God and to serving your neighbor?
Today is Super Bowl Sunday, and I often think that sports, and entertainment overall, is a good barometer with which to check our convictions with God. How many of us will watch the Super Bowl today, and in general, spend hours on end watching sports? And if we include other forms of entertainment, from television to movies to music to many other things, how much of our time and money go into such entertainment? Check your calendar and your check books to see. Then, compare the amount of time and treasure you put into your own entertainment, with the time, talent and treasure you offer to God through serving others.
God does not expect great things from each of us, but he does wait for us to offer what we have, with great love. The key is to offer our life – with its time, talents and treasure – to God and say, “Here O Lord. These gifts which I possess are yours. Use them in whatever way you wish. I am here to be Your hands and Your presence in serving others!
Each one of us is only one person, and yet God uses each one of us to help make the world a better place.
- “Without God, we cannot do anything. Without us, God will not do many things.”
- “Pray as if everything depends on God. Work as if everything depends on you.”
- One person can make a big difference, and that one person can be you.
Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and enter into your master’s joy!
May each one of us hear these beloved words of blessing at the end of our lives!