God’s gifts are for creativity and service
33rd Sunday of Year A (Matt 25:14-30)
November 19, 2017
By Fr. Sal Putzu, SDB
ALL of God’s gifts are beautiful and precious. They are so many, far beyond our counting, for God is always immensely generous in lavishing His blessings upon us. For our part, our first duty is to “count them,” i.e., to become aware of them. Denying God’s gifts or hiding them is not humility, but a very impoverishing form of moral blindness.
On the other hand, once we become aware of the gifts we have received from the Lord, we should not boast about them, as if they were our doing, nor should we take them for granted as something that God “owed us.” The proper attitude toward the blessings and favors of the Lord is that of Mary, as we see it splendidly expressed in the opening of her Magnificat: it is honest and grateful appreciation of these gifts as signs of God’s love for us. (See Lk 1:46-49.)
But, in addition to acknowledging them as coming from the Lord, we have also to utilize these gifts according to His will, i.e., with wisdom and creativity. God—who is ever so generous and trusting—will ask us to account for the way in which we have used His gifts.
What we shall have to account for is, first of all, the way we used our physical, intellectual, aesthetic, spiritual faculties. We will have to account also for opportunities to do good to others offered us by the Lord, for God’s gifts are meant not only for the needs/good of each of us, but also to help others. We should not use God’s gifts to us in a selfish manner. Rather, we are expected to use these gifts/talents also for the good of our neighbor and the growth of God’s Kingdom on earth.
We have also to remember that the most important item of our accountability will be our very “self”—God’s basic and most precious gift to us. This means that, in addition to having to account for what we did to others, we shall be especially accountable for what we did with ourselves.
This is a searching, deep area of accountability for it pertains not just to what we have DONE, but also and especially to what we have BECOME. God has implanted in each of us the call and potential to become a saint, i.e., to be a living example and an instrument of His saving and sanctifying love. The decisive question will always be, “Did we do our best to become one? . . .” Only a positive answer will entitle us to hear the invitation, “Come, share your Master’s joy!” (Mt 25:21)