Welcome to Thanksgiving week. Our Thanksgiving Mass will be celebrated on Thursday morning at 8:30 at Notre Dame de Lourdes. Hopefully you can join us as we give thanks to God for the many blessings which we have received this year.
Blessed are you, Lord God, King of the Universe: you raised your beloved Son from the dead and made him Lord of all. We turn to you in prayer and ask you to bless us and this food you have given us. Help us to be generous toward others, and to work with them so that they too may eat well. Loving Father, may we celebrate together around your table in heaven. We praise you and give you glory through Christ our Lord. Amen.
-Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
The readings for this Sunday continue the theme of final judgment. Last week St. Matthew challenged us to make sure that we have enough oil to keep our lamps burning brightly. Oil is an external element, and external elements are essential to our spiritual well-being and preparation. This week we look at the essential internal elements – our talents.
John Milton’s sonnet: “When I Consider How My Light Is Spent” contains a line that harkens back to today’s Gospel reading: “And that one talent which is death to hide lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent.” Milton was in the early stages of blindness while he composed this sonnet. Hence, he could recollect upon the light in his life being spent as well as a talent becoming uselessly lodged within.
Milton’s use of the verb “lodged” is interesting. Something that is lodged usually involves a sense of discomfort. Things become lodged and they are difficult to dislodge. Lodging offers a sense of firmness or embedment. For Milton his one talent – the composition of poetry – was forever lodged within him. He could mentally compose and dictate but he was unable to see his works on a page.
Our friend in today’s gospel reading views his one talent as a lodger. It is a distraction, it is a source of discomfort, it requires an effort that he is unable, or ill-equipped to muster.
Meanwhile, the first two individuals in the gospel, who are sharing their master’s joy, do not see the request as an imposition. They recognize their talents as precious commodities that are readily available. The talents are always ready to be used effectively and efficiently for whatever task is being requested. They can readjust, refocus, redirect, and courageously meet the challenge that is presented. Come, share your master’s joy?
Are you sharing your master’s joy? Are your talents lodging? How do you respond when you are requested to use your talents? Can you summon the strength to readjust, refocus, and redirect when you are presented with challenges in your life? Can you do the same in your faith life?
Are there aspects in your faith life that are lodged? Our baptism requires us to be priests, prophets, and kings. A priest: With what level of frequency do you pray, attend Mass, receive the Eucharist, afford yourself the opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Penance? A prophet: Are you comfortable discussing your faith? Have you invited others to embrace a relationship with Jesus? Do you challenge yourself or others to fulfill the responsibilities of the faith? A king: With what level of frequency do you offer service? Are you able to assist at Mass – lector, cantor, usher, altar server? Are there parish organizations with which you would like to assist?
John Milton was able to dislodge his talent and find, despite his blindness, creative ways to share his master’s joy? Are you ready to share the master’s joy?