33rd Sunday of the Year (A) 2020
The readings today speak about ‘talents’. All of us have been given talents and they are to be used well. The first reading focuses on good women, good wives. The lines that jump out at me are, “She holds out her hand to the poor, she opens her arms to the needy.’ The good wife uses her talents in this way. Tomorrow I am going to preside at a funeral service for a lady who was vice-chair of the Royal Society for the Protection of Children. She had held an important job using the talents God had given her. In her role she would have given so much to help improve the plight of poor children. She ‘held out her hands to the poor and opened her arms to the needy.’ God must have been very pleased with her. It was clear that God had given her many talents and she used them well.
But not everyone has the same talents. We have all been given talents which we use in different ways, but always to make the world a better place. There is an elderly nun I know. I don’t know her well but I see her every now and again. And when I see her I smile. I do that because she lifts my spirits. She doesn’t do much, because by now she is elderly. But she smiles, and she laughs and she is kind and polite. If she does this for me then she does it for others too. She is using the talents that God has given her, and again, I am sure that God is pleased with her.
All of us have been given talents. Some may be extraordinary but most of us are not given extraordinary talents. Indeed they are probably very ordinary, but God has given them to us for a purpose: to make the world a better place. I do admire the talents in others. But it would be wrong to be envious. I realise it is easy to become envious of others. You see someone who is so clever, so successful, so attractive, they have lots of money and friends, and always seem happy. Yes it’s easy to wish that you could be like them. But that would be wrong. Never envy another person’ talents. You’ve no idea of the crosses that person may have to bear and because of their talents. Instead concentrate on your own talents. You have been given them. God has given them to you for a reason: to make the world a better place.
“But what can I do?” you might ask. Well, you can do a lot if you use your God given talents. Any good we do in life is because God has given us the grace. So if God has given us talents, and He has, He will help us to use our talents. He will help us to flourish. To be successful. To be pleasing to Him. God does not want us just to live in the world, He wants us to change the world, by using the talents we have been given. And we can do that at any age: it isn’t always about doing things. That old nun I know doesn’t do that much now. But she is changing the world by the talents that God has given her.