To one and all:

The parable of the talents reminded us not to be fearful and bury our talents.  Better to take a risk and fail than to not to try.  The worthless servant in the parable who is cast out into the darkness should be a stark reminder to all of us that the Lord entrusts us with the responsibility to use our gifts to further his kingdom, to be a light on the lampstand and a city on a hill.

The challenge with this call is that we don’t always know if we are being successful or not.  Our best efforts sometime seem minimally effective.  Our plans for spreading the faith are met with opposition, or worse, indifference.  We would like to be able to say that our “five talents” made another five, but we can’t be sure they’ve made anything.  How to handle this quandary?

First, remember that we are called to be faithful and not necessarily successful. Second, we are sometimes the worse judge of the success of our efforts in the life of faith, the Lord looks into the heart and doesn’t stop at the surface.  We may be more successful than we know. Finally, we need to trust that the Lord will provide us the grace we need to complete the tasks he wishes us to fulfill.  We will have what we need to step out in faith and put our gifts at His service.  If we doubt this, let the words of St. John Henry Newman help us not to be afraid in living and sharing our faith:

“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.

He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work. I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place, while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.

Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.”

Stay well and God bless,

Msgr. John McDermott

Vicar General