Read 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11, Ps. 98:1,7-9, Matthew 25:14-30)_

“Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)

For some days, we have listened to Jesus’ warnings on preparing for death (or the end of the world). Jesus speaks of the need to be vigilant by being busy to avoid death catching us unawares.

While the parable of the ten virgins encourages us to go the extra mile (aim for excellence), the parable of the talents encourages us not to bury our talents. Just as it is foolish to depend only on the oil in your lamp, it is equally foolish not to light your lamp for fear of using up the oil in it.

We do not all have equal opportunities, but we all have equal abilities to make the best of all our opportunities. God gives to each according to their ability. By failing to recognise and explore our opportunities, we behave like the servants whom the master condemned.

In the parable of the Talents, the master had three servants. To one, the master gave five talents; to another, two talents; and to the third, he gave only one. It always seems like some people are more blessed than others, but just as our talents are different, our problems are also different.

Avoid envy; no one is better than you. Avoid pride; you are not better than anyone else. We are just different. So mind your business – show concern about others but avoid comparing your life to that of anyone. You are unique. Even if it is only one talent that you have, nurture it. Remember that talent is never enough. You must develop it like gold that must be polished and purified to shine.

As you develop your talent, also invest in your limitations. Instead of wishing your life was problem-free, change your mindset by asking: “What if my problems are blessings in disguise?” By the way, no one’s life is problem-free, not even those of celebrities, royalties, or icons society holds in high esteem.

Today, St. Paul encourages us to mind our business: “We exhort you, brethren, to … aspire to live quietly, to mind your affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you; so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody.” (1 Thessalonians 4:10-12)

The master called the servant who buried his talent wicked and slothful. We are wicked and slothful when we focus on pulling others down instead of developing our God-given abilities and talents. We are wicked and slothful when we live with envy, picking faults in everyone, complaining about our leaders yet failing to contribute our quota to a better society.

Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, give me the grace to use my talents while I live so that I may die empty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of week 21 in Ordinary Time, Liturgical Colour: Green. Bible Study: 1 Thessalonians 4:9-11, Ps. 98:1,7-9, Matthew 25:14-30).

@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu