The message of the Gospel [Matthew 25: 14-30] is simple and clear: it is not how much you have, it is how you use what you have that is important.
At some point most of us have compared what we have with what others have. We have at some time in life wished that we had an opportunity, a chance, a material possession, a relationship, or a “talent” that someone else possessed. It seems to be a part of our human nature. Hopefully we have moved beyond such comparisons that waste time and rob us of our own dignity. Comparisons create spiritual and material inferiority comples or spiritual and material superiority complexes — neither is healthy.
God gives us what we need. God blesses each of us. God enriches each of us. AND, God expects us to use what we have received not only for own good but also for the good of others.
As we move toward the end of the liturgical season, we are also reminded that there will one day be an accounting, a reckoning, of how we have used what has been given to us.
Shift for a moment to the reading from first Thessalonians: 5:1-6: For all of you are children of the light and children of the day. We are not of the night or of darkness.
We are not meant to be cynical, negative, or to whine. We are to be hopeful, positive, and dedicated to making things better. Darkness can be personal or communal. Using what we have [talents] can be personal or communal.
The Scripture of this weekend calls us to think personally and communally.
More and more people are not watching televised news or so-called political debates because there is too much complaining, whining, and blaming.
We have enough and we are enough. Do we live with this approach to life? What am I doing with what I have? What are we doing with what we have?
During my years in ministry I have served community with great financial resources and communities that have struggled with financial resources. AT THE SAME TIME, every community could do good and accomplish good.
Rather than looking backward and beating ourselves up for what we have not done or applauding ourselves for what we have done — let’s look at today, at this moment and see what we CAN DO for tomorrow and the days ahead.
In the world of stewardship we talk about “time, talent, and treasure”. So, with the time I have [the time we have], what need can I meet? With my “free time” is there somewhere that I can offer help — can I make someone or something BETTER through the gift of my time? Can my time be “better” used to accomplish a greater good?
With my talent — is there a cause, a project, a ministry that could be served with my sharing of talent? Is there a need in the community, in my family, in the Church that would be richer than it is today if I simply step forward?
With my treasure — can I fill a gap, give a boost, help someone by simply offering a little more than I am now doing? Is there a need out there that is greater than my want?
Each of us is blessed — each of us has SOMETHING that can be of benefit to God. Remember the little boy with a few fish and a few loaves of bread? In God’s hands, a little becomes more than enough.