Father Peter Clarke

From the Diocese of Bridgetown

Loaded With Talents:A Reflection By Fr. Peter Clarke, OP

Loaded With Talents:A Reflection By Fr. Peter Clarke, OP

Greetings, brothers and sisters! I'm Fr. Peter Clarke, OP filling in for my brother, Isidore. until he is well again. Kindly remember him in your prayers. In the Gospel for the 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time we have Jesus speaking to His disciples shortly before He goes towards His Crucifixion and Resurrection. I entitle this reflection 'LOADED WITH TALENTS.'

Jesus wants His disciples to understand what a privilege it will be for them to be His Ambassadors, how much He is entrusting to them, and how much He will expect of them. He does this by way of the parable of the man who entrusted his property to his servants while he was away.

Each was entrusted with an amount of silver coins, talents, according to his competence. Each talent was worth as much as could be earned in a lifetime! Money must be made to work, increase, or at least be placed in a bank where it could earn interest. To bury this fortune in the ground, as did one of the servants, was commercially a dead loss. In the parable his fate was far worse than being told to 'GET LOST!"

This parable, as an earthly story, is a cautionary tale for all bankers and those in business. The spiritual impact of this parable was intendedbe a rallying call for the disciples of Jesus and for all others, people like ourselves, who were to continue His own good work. Pope St. John XX111 puts it marvelously: "We are not on earth to guard a museum, but to cultivate a flourishing garden of life."

It was Pope John XX111 who convened the Second Vatican Council (1962-65) at a time when many were preoccupied with keeping the deposit of faith secure. He saw this as being too much on the defensive.He boldly called for renewal of the Church and for a dialogue between the Church and the modern world. Perhaps the crowning point of this Council was the inspiring PASTORAL CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH IN THE MODERN WORLD.

Just listen to its opening words, "The joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, THESE are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ."

These joy, hopes, griefs and anxieties were surely on the mind of Jesus when He told the Parable of the Talents to His disciples. They, His servants, were to carry the Good News of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. And now, by a happy coincidence Pope Francis is declaring to us that THE FIRST WORLD DAY OF THE POOR is to be celebrated this very 33rd Sunday – with its Gospel of the Talents. His theme "Let us love, not with words but with deeds" endorses our own thoughts for today. Weas Church, we as missionary disciples, are to be 'upbeat' as we face the future.

We have been entrusted with the talents that are the Buried Treasure and the Precious Pearl of the Gospel.With St. Paul we are to see ourselves as "only the earthenware jars that hold this .treasure." 2 Cor. 4.8. These talents are infinitely more precious than all the gold in the world!

We who are baptized have received the priceless gift of Faith in Jesus Christ, Life in Jesus Christ.We do not hold this gift as though it were our very own.We are stewards of this gift. As missionary disciples of Jesus we are to give to others the opportunity to become believers in Jesus who are to have the same minds as Jesus and to live as Jesus did.

Through this parable Jesus is telling us a time will come when He will evaluate our stewardship; how we have used the all the talents,time and opportunities that have been entrusted to us. Notice that in the parable the committed servants did not only do well for their master. They themselves were handsomely rewarded. We who are empowered by the grace of Jesus to be His diligent servants, His heralds, will be thrilled by the greeting we receive from Him, "Well done good and faithful servants…come and join in your master's happiness," (Mtt.25.21).

Let us stand together for what we believe and work for what must be done! God bless you!

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