A scholarly attempt at an interpretation of Sunday's liturgical readings.

        Haven’t we all wished at one time or another to be something that we are not?  Movie star.  Olympic athlete.  Rock band artist.  Martial Arts master.  And the list could go on.  Does this mean that we are unhappy with what we are?  Not necessarily.  It could also mean that we are either stretching our horizons of possibilities  or that we have to focus more on what is truly important.   What is truly important is the fact that we have gifts, namely, something that we can share with another.  God has not cheated anyone.

          In todays Gospel (the thirty third Sunday in Ordinary Time) Jesus tells his disciples about gifts that people receive, and what they do with them.  For example, a boss is leaving town and gives three of his employees different sums of money, quite likely to test out what they do with gifts.  The first two employees invest the money and double it.  The third is afraid to take risks so he keeps the money safe.  When the boss returns, he praises the first two who increased their gift, and cursed the third because he did nothing with it.

         What can we learn from this?  First of all, our gifts are like investments.  The more we use them the wider the effects they will have.  Secondly, the fact is that some receive more than others.  So what?  We have a responsibility to use what we have and share.  It seems to me that an effective use of gifts depends upon attitude.  (1)-Discovery.  Find out what my gifts are.  We all have them, but perhaps we are unaware of their existence because of other’s expectations of us.  (2)-Gratitude.  Thank God for what we can do.  Serendipity often helps us discover what some of those gifts are.  (3)-Influence.  Use the gifts to help others come closer to God.

          Above all, thank God for your gifts once you know what they are.  You may not be a better musician than the other person, but you may be a better listener to the problems of others.  Talents surface and remain as long as they are of service to others.  Perhaps the third worker in the above  parable was not a financial genius, but quite possibly he could do something better than the other two. Quite likely, he later he found out what it was.  Imagine what your discovery will be like when you know what your gifts are.


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