THIRTYTHIRD SUNDAY A: HOMILY by Fr. Matthias Lusembo

THEME: GOD GAVE US TALENTS

The purpose is that we use them to serve God and the community.

The message is that every Christian has a duty to exercise a ministry within the community, without losing any time, because the Master will come at an unexpected time and ask for accountability. (1 Thes 5:4-6).

The Book of Proverbs (31:10-31) gives an example of a perfect woman, who uses her talents to serve. She keeps God’s commandments, brings happiness, peace, serenity and harmony in the home. She is never idle, but cares for the home. She assists even strangers. 

The Gospel text (Mt 25: 14-30), shows that the Master rewards the servants who traded with the Master’s talents, but punishes the servant who did not. The Master is Jesus Christ, who entrusted his Gospel, love and sacraments (Jn 13:34, Mt 28:19-20) to His disciples to use them to expand the Church. Each Christian, in proportion to his/her ability must undertake a ministry within the community, a service to the brothers and sisters.

Services, like: Leading people, serving as usher,  Cantor, Proclaimer of the word of God, Eucharistic minister, sacristan, altar server, coordinator of communication, catechist preparing catechumens for baptism, preparing couples for marriage, caring for the poor, cleaning the Church, caring for the elderly and visiting the sick.

Each one of us is expected to exercise the ministry to the best of his or her capability. And if one is no longer able to do so, may be due to old age, or sickness, one is supposed to hand over the ministry to the “bank”, that is, the community, so that that ministry may be entrusted to someone else who can do it faithfully for the good of the community.

We all have talents or gifts. We all have value. None of us should lament: Oh, I am not intelligent! I am poor! I come from a poor family! I am not talkative. I am insignificant. No, you are not insignificant. God created you for a purpose. And God is with you. And with God everything is possible (Gabriel: Lk 1:37); Do not let your history or circumstances determine you! Cf. King David, Gideon (Judges 6&7), Israelites crossing the Red Sea;

You can do more! Yes you can. You can, for example, use your phone to spread the Gospel, sending out quotations from the Bible, talking to the homebound, etc. I am not very intelligent, but I try my best. I used to be very shy and timid. I overcame all that by courageously getting involved again and again.

Google Nicholas James Vujicic (Nick Vujicic), born without arms, & without legs! His motto: No arms, No legs, No Problem! He has a BA Commerce, Masters Accounting and Financial Planning, married with 4 children, founder of “Life Without Limbs” International Organization and Ministry, best actor in a film, writer of books including: Life Without Limits; The Unstoppable Power of Faith.

Let each one of us ask himself/herself: What is my talent? What am I doing with that talent? What is my ministry? Am I doing it faithfully? Am I making an effort to improve on it so that it becomes more useful to the Church? What about the other talents, like intelligence, wisdom, academic qualification, material and spiritual riches? Am I putting them at the disposal of the community to bear profit, at least in the heavenly kingdom?

Am I afraid of putting my talents into practice? If so, what accountability shall I give to God?   Suppose Jesus had feared to die could we have had the Holy Eucharist? Jesus put his talents at the disposal of the Church to the point of dying and giving himself to us for our salvation. As we receive him in Holy Communion, let us remember that Christ wants us to use our talents to serve the community.