ST MONICA, (Memorial) White
Monica, a Christian from birth was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa who was much older than her. He had a violent temper which proved a constant challenge to Monica. Through Monica’s prayers, her husband got converted to the Catholic faith in 370. He died a year later. Monica had three children: Perpetua and Navigius who entered the religious life and Augustine who was wayward. Monica had to pray for Augustine for 17 years before he got converted and baptised by St Ambrose in 387. She died later that same year. She is the patron of alcoholics, abuse victims, difficult marriages, disappointing children, victims of adultery, of unfaithfulness, of verbal abuse, and of mothers and widows
First Reading: 1Cor 1:26-31; Psalm: 33. R. v. 12b; Gospel: Mt 25:14-30
UTILISING OUR TALENTS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
One truth about life is that sometimes we may not discover we have a gift or talent in us until we try out something new. There is always that drive in all of us to learn something new. It could be the drive to learn how to play the piano or guitar; or the drive to acquire certain skills that can enrich our world. But often times we end up not developing this potential talents in us because of the demands of training or because we are afraid of failing. The presence of this drive in us portends our ability to develop some inborn talents if only we endure the pain of time and practice. But the crisis we often face is negligence and the loss of these prospective talents.
In the parable of today’s gospel, each of the servants was given different talents by their master according to their ability. The first two servants did business with their talents and made more which they submitted to their master on his return. The third servant who knew his master as a hard man went and hid his talent to keep it safe because he was afraid of his master’s rebuke should he do business with it and lose everything or fail to make any profit. His crime was not that he hid the talent but that he never even adventured with it even if he will end up making no profit. It would have been better if he had tried something and failed than trying nothing at all.
Each of us has certain gifts or talents given to us by God to better our world. These gifts or talents are not meant to be dormant. God wants us to develop and use them in service to humanity. So what are those potential talents in us that we have buried instead of developing them? Perhaps it’s time we pay attention to them. We can see from this parable that those who will be punished are those who will never try. Those who give excuses that they can do nothing meaningful with their small talents. Those who feel there is point trying. Any little good service we can render to our world is itself a gift. We are not too small to change our world. So let us say no to the life of indifference; that life of reclining to oneself and doing nothing at all when there is so much to be done around us. We can get up and do something. Service is a gift also.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Almighty God, help us to make the very best use of the opportunities you present before us daily. May we not waste our time and talents. Amen.