talent, and treasure
The gospel story of the man who went on a journey, entrusting
his property to servants who were to use what he had given them
wisely, is a reminder of our own call to be good stewards of all
that God has given to us.
Such a stewardship boils down to the love we have received
from God and which should influence every aspect of our lives.
"Let us give thanks to God for all that he has
given us in the best way possible: permitting no rust or
decay to consume his gifts, but using them as fully as
possible for the benefit of the Body of Christ."
Each one of us can use the gifts of time, talent, and
treasure with which God has blessed us, whether little or great,
few or many.
The proverbial image of the "worthy wife" shows a woman who
works hard, using her knowledge and skills out of her love for
her family. She brings good to her husband, works with "loving
hands" for her family, for the poor and the needy. To her does
her husband entrust his heart, as the Lord values his bride, the
in Ordinary Time
(Nov. 17, 2002)
Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Matthew 25:14-30 or 25:14-15, 19-21
The fruitful vine and olive plants of the psalms are the
bride of Christ and her children, those who are faithful
disciples of their Master. "Thus is the man blessed who fears
the Lord," we sing, for those who are God-fearing will one day
see the heavenly Jerusalem.
Because we are children of the light and of the day, writes
Saint Paul, we do not sit in darkness. Rather, "let us stay
alert and sober," watchful of the signs of the times and busy
serving the Lord and others for the sake of Christ.
Jesus shows by his parable that the time we are given can be
used wisely and vigilantly. The talents we have received can be
put at the service of others.
So with the treasure we have worked for but which is, like
all things, a gift from our generous Father - we must not hide
or bury these many gifts, but bring them into the light and use
them for the good of all.
Many times when modern Christians hear the word "stewardship"
they might think "oh oh, they're going to talk about money
Financial stewardship is but one part of the picture. All
members of every parish should give of their time to serve
others in the community. All - young and old, rich and poor -
should use their skills and talents for the benefit of all.
And yes, everyone has a responsibility to give financial
support according to their means, whether that means a small or
a large amount. Stewardship doesn't mean money alone, but it
means sacrificing from every area of our lives - indeed, giving
back to God from what he has given us.
Our blessings are not meant to be kept, but to be given away.
So doing, let us give thanks to God for all that he has given us
in the best way possible: permitting no rust or decay to consume
his gifts, but using them as fully as possible for the benefit
of the Body of Christ.
As we draw nearer to Advent, when we anticipate the coming of
the Lord at Christmas, let us give generously of the time,
talent, and treasure that God has given us. When the Lord comes,
he will find our hearts full of love, our hands open wide, and
our faces smiling because we have been generous stewards of his
Fr. John G. Stillmank is Moderator of the Curia for the
Diocese of Madison and pastor of St. Andrew Parish, Verona, and
St. William Parish, Paoli.