Time’s Up!” The chimed tone from the popular game shows “Wheel of Fortune” or “Jeopardy Lingers in ones head and says to finish up, answer now or forfeit the prize. The tone lingers in my head for hours afterwards. Images of the “days of the Son of Man” linger throughout the Scriptures of this time of the year. Just two weeks away from the start of a new liturgical year, we find an opportunity to look back at our community’s Gospel investments …. How we have used our time, talent and treasure? How much Kingdom do we have to show for it?
Mathew’s Gospel focuses on the gifts we have received and how well we have used them to foster the kingdom of God. The story makes that master judges the efforts of his servants to use the “TALENTS’ he entrusted to them. The first reading presents a different slant on the topic, focusing on the use of one’s gifts in the domestic setting. This might be a good reminder that the talents of the community are not oriented primarily to the worship setting but are intended to bring the Gospel to bear on “every aspect of daily life.
The whole of Christian life in the words of Los Angeles’s Cardinal Mahoney, “…is a response to a gift received.” I like that as we approach Thanksgiving. Our response to God’s investment in us with the pouring out of the life of his beloved son, is to be ever more receptive and appreciative. In short…grateful; to be people of immense gratitude.
This is not an easy thing to evaluate, this call to live from a grateful heart. Giving our time, talent and treasure is not a duty. It is a response to the grandeur and magnitude of God’s gift to us. The great Dominican mystic, Meister Eckhart noted “if the only prayer you say in your life is “thank you,” that would suffice.” But that word of thanks has to spring from the deepest part of ourselves in which the word of God has touched and changed us.
Our parish finance report will be presented at the liturgy of this weekend inviting us to reflect on what “Christian stewardship” means and it has impacted the quality of our lives. “Church” is about living the Gospel once we leave this sacred building. May God sustains us with the generosity to living this mystery with real “animo,” real heart-full passion. We will always be ready for the days of the Lord.
A wonderful thanksgiving to all form the friars and staff of the Basilica.
A gentle week,
Fr. Michael Weldon, OFM