Gospel reflections about this Sunday's readings. Particularly about Matthew's words.
What is my purpose in life? If we ask ourselves this question from time to time, without ever doing anything about it, this Gospel reading is a warning. Our life purpose is to grow in holiness and to use the talents and strengths that our God has so graciously “lend us” in order to make this world a better place. All for His glory. We sure don’t want to hear "You wicked, lazy servant!" at the time of our judgment...
You can analyze this reading from many different perspectives. I read it from the perspective of coaching and spiritual growth. Although in this case “talent” is being used as a monetary asset, you could also view this as an analogy to abilities, something the author of Matthew often mentions. In this Scripture reflection I’d like to focus on three concepts that will help us the most in using this Scripture passage to live our Divine life purpose.
The first one is to think of ourselves as stewards of God’s talents. Some of us have the capacity to do scholarly work, others are able to easily love and forgive, while others brighten everyone's day with superb humor. These gifts are not ours, God lent them to us so that we can produce fruit and multiply its loving impact. How well am I doing as a steward of these precious assets? Am I multiplying or burying them because I'm afraid to fail? How many of us have an inkling of what we should do with our gifts, but fear failure? Do we need to surrender our reluctance for risk?
The second concept is that God is not expecting us to be as contemplative as Thomas Merton, as intelligent as Einstein, or as delightful as Yo-Yo Ma. We need to stop comparing and getting into crises over what we have done in life in comparison to great figures or with our neighbors. All we need to do is give of ourselves completely and to exercise our talents with intense love and passion, "...to each according to his ability." Miracles will occur!
Finally, what results, what fruits, will our Lord be happy with? Our innovation can be used to produce the next “bunker buster” nuclear weapon or to find a way to cure cancer. Our analytical strengths can be used to generate more wealth or to end poverty and hunger in the world. Our writing ability could be used to righteously attack “sinners” or to increase love, hope, and faith in the world. It is our choice. May we hear the words "'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy."
God bless all of you and may you live your purpose with love and grace every day!