Friday, August 30, 2013

Saturday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time "Bearing Fruit for the Kingdom"

Jesus told his disciples this parable: "A man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one-- to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master´s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ´Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.´ His master said to him, ´Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master´s joy.´ Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ´Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.´ His master said to him, ´Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master´s joy.´ Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ´Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.´ His master said to him in reply, ´You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.´" (Matthew 25: 14-30)

Introductory Prayer: My God, I believe in you with all my heart because you have made yourself known to me in so many ways, especially through the gift of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope in you because you have never abandoned me. I love you, Lord, because you have loved me first and have shed your blood for my salvation. I want to love you with my whole life. Recognizing my sinfulness and trusting in your mercy, I humble myself before you. Mother Mary, I entrust my life to your maternal care so that I will always be faithful to God’s holy will for my life.

Petition: Lord, help me to take all the gifts and talents you have given me and put them to use for the greater good of the Kingdom of God.

1. Free to Use My Talents
Christ has given each of us a certain number of talents. Each of us now has to decide how we are going to use them. We can use them and multiply them, or we can bury them. Christ wants each of us to make full use of the talents we have been given. He gives us the liberty to discern what the best way to do so is. This is what is so great about Christ: He respects our freedom. Our freedom was given to us as a tool to help us choose the greatest good to be done at any given moment. We have to ask ourselves if we are using our freedom to make the most of our God-given talents.

2. Taking Stock
The talents and gifts given us by Christ were given not only for personal use but for the service of others. Christ will demand an account from us as to how we made use of them. We have to think about this: At the end our lives do we want to be accounted before God for making use of 100% of our talents, or just 25% or 50% of them? How are we going to explain why we didn’t make use of the other 50% or 75%? It is an important question that we need to ask ourselves because, as we meditated earlier this week, Christ is counting on us. The mere fact we are conscious of the need to use our talents for Christ is in itself a grace. Now is always the best time to change if need be.

3. Making Christ Happy
Have you ever thought that by doing God’s will faithfully and by giving your full effort, you could make our Lord happy? It is true, because Christ is extremely interested in each one of us being totally faithful to his Father’s will, just as he himself took interest in his Father’s will perfectly and completely. Don’t think that if no one in this world acknowledges us, all our sacrifices and labor go unnoticed. Rather know this: Christ sees all and knows why we do all that we do. Christ is very happy that we put everything that we are at his service out of love.

Conversation with Christ: Lord and Savior, thank you for calling me to yourself and for strengthening me in the fight for holiness in my life. I want nothing more than to bring to fruition all the talents you have given me and to put them at your service. They are your gifts to me; the least I can do is use them to bring you glory and praise. So often in the world people use their talents for selfish gain, but I don’t want to do that, Lord. I want to be your faithful servant.

Resolution: I will offer up the use of my talents today to give glory to God.

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