Saturday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time

The faith which draws us to the gate is a gift entrusted to us by God: what have we to show for it? One of the topics this week has been the importance of bringing others along the way, of living our faith in a manner that edifies, inspires and instructs others in the way of Christ. Today’s Gospel reminds us that we will be held responsible for the way in which we use the many gifts God has given us—including our Christian faith—and if we have done so selfishly or not at all, the results are rather alarming.

The point of the Christian life is not “getting to the gate”; as St. Ignatius says at the beginning of the Exercises, “Man is created to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.” In short, we are created to love God; the servant in today’s parable who buried his talent showed no love toward his master. He so feared failing his master that he was unable to take the risk in loving him; he did not love his master enough to show gratitude for the gift he’d received by returning a gift in kind.

The gift of our faith is the same way: it is a gift given us at Baptism, a gift given at great cost: the cost of Christ’s life on the Cross. What have you done with that gift? There are those who fear loss and so they bury their faith, keeping their life in Christ very secret—different from hidden, as many saints have lived—and putting His light, so to speak, under the bushel basket. They do not let the flame of their faith catch anything else in their life afire, and they do not let it spread; what use is there in living this way?

Rather let us live our faith generously and boldly, with great love for the God who entrusted us with so marvelous a gift. Considering the greatness of God and our own lowliness it is an utter scandal that we should be so lavishly gifted such that we can, by His grace, not only come to know of Him, but we can come to know Him intimately, thereby coming to love Him! Go then and, trusting entirely in the love and mercy of God, sanctify our fallen world by living generous, joyful and charitable lives, seeking to multiply the gift God first entrusted to you.

August 31st, 2013