So—let’s talk about stewardship: time, talent and treasure. The word ‘stewardship’ comes from Greek and means to manage God’s house. We are God’s house and must “manage” ourselves and all that we have been given by God for God’s Kingdom. The work of any ministry boils down to two powerful, convicting, and moving commitments: to serve and to give. Jesus taught this truth, and He demonstrated this truth. As those who gather around the Lord's Table and share in the Communion that makes us one, we also hear the call of the Savior to remember him by being His bodily presence—His hands, His feet, His voice, His hugs in this world—by committing to serve and to give. This responsibility is conferred upon us by Baptism, and today’s scripture reminds us to “use it or lose it.”
We all know that being human can mean that it is very easy to take what we have been given for granted—and that we need to remind ourselves that what we have been given to us by God we must use for His glory. It is an exciting thought to realize that as we use what God has given us for good, He will bless us with even more opportunities for service in this field of souls. That is what is meant in the scripture today about growing rich: rich in love and mercy and grace, rich in joy, rich in relationships. On the other hand, it is a sobering thought to realize that in failing to make productive and responsible use of any gift we have been given, we may lose it.
Do you remember that old funny story about the arrival of God and the pronouncement to “better look busy?” We all know that when the bridegroom returns (remember last week’s Gospel!) we had better be prepared, alert and awake. This week we hear how we must also be about employing our gifts for our Father’s business. We are given the opportunity and freedom to act in God’s interests, to transform ourselves and unite ourselves more closely to Him. The talents are the graces supplied to us by God in order that we actualize, fulfill, and perfect our abilities. The talents belong to the master, not to the servants. It is the stewardship of the talents that transforms the servants (us) from slavery to the sharing of “the Master’s joy.” To be “faithful in small matters” means to use the graces of the life in Christ to deepen our relationship with God and others.
So the question is: what are you doing with what God has given you? St. Paul tells us today that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.” He reminds us to do what we may now. Name your talents, use them, develop them, share them, and pray for the graces needed to work your talents for the kingdom. Sometimes it is just about showing up, just being there where you are needed: whether it is a helping hand for those less fortunate, praying hard, sharing your blessings—all are needed. Show up, don’t just look busy; be busy about God’s business.
There is an old hymn text that says: “Now go forward, press toward the goal. Plentiful harvest waits for you. Faithful servants, fear not death; toil and labor for the Lord. Come, behold, your days pass away. Look ahead, the cross leads the way. While you have breath on this day, give yourself. Forward, go!” Better get going…
Keep singing in your hearts!
Just a Note: I am including a link for the music “Os Justi” by the composer Anton Bruckner. The text comes from Psalm 37: “The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom and their tongues speak of what is just. The law of God is in their hearts.” In our turmoil in these times, these are words of which we need to be reminded—sung beautifully. Enjoy!
Os justi: https://youtu.be/WJXsK7NPKX0