Saturday – St. Augustine
Gospel – Matthew25:14-30
Using Our Talents Wisely
Street Musician, Jerusalem
His first 30 years of life were full of less than admirable qualities. He was a very difficult child for his Christian mother and his pagan father. In his teen years, he ran around with a not-so-savory crew who called themselves the ‘destructors’, full of mischief and hijinks He tells the story that they once decided to steal the pears off a tree. It had nothing to do with hunger; they just felt like doing it! In fact, they took all the pears and threw them away to some pigs.
He grew up to be an atheist and spent much of his early life in debauchery and misadventures. At the age of 17, he began a long-term relationship with a young woman, living together and fathering a child. He was always an extremely intelligent and educated young man. Finally at the age of 31, he converted to Christianity His name is St. Augustine of Hippo, whose feast we celebrate today and whose mother, Monica, we celebrated yesterday. All those years of immense talent wasted! And then he had that leap of faith and the rest, they say, is history!
So it is with us. We live our lives in a distracted way, reacting rather than acting, willing to put up less than the best. At important points we do not give the job our best effort. Then with a shock we look at the situation we have created and find that we are now living in a less than perfect house.
Every day we build our own house, we build our lives. Every day we hammer a nail, set up a wall, paint a room. And sometimes we don’t do a very good job. We get lazy, we get forgetful and distracted. And some days we just give up, thinking we don’t have the will or the right tools for the job. Sometimes we doubt our abilities, our TALENTS! And some days we just choose to take the easy path and ignore our God-given gifts! And sometimes, we just waste our talents on worthless pursuits, like Augustine!
But other times, we follow the path of those 2 servants who invested their talents and gained a profit. They took a risk, a leap of faith, and saw their talents increased. And that first servant? He was afraid to lose what he had! He gave in to fear instead of faith. The lesson is clear! In order to ‘share the Master’s joy”, we must use our God-given talents, not bury them in the sand. We must work diligently and faithfully and, yes, sometimes even take a risk in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Keep the faith! Share the faith!