33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

WHAT ARE YOUR GIFTS?

By Louella D’Souza

Dan had had enough. He walked out of his cubicle one day and decided that he would never work as an accountant again. While he was good at his job, he felt called to make a bigger impact. After the elation of that decision diminished, he was faced with a conundrum. What would he do? Where would he start? What was he good at? It wasn’t long before all semblances of elation had turned to dismay and fear as Dan realized that he was rather clueless over his gifts. In conversations with friends, he discovered that many people stood in the same boat as he.

Over time, he discovered his gifts, focused on strengthening them and went on to employ them exceptionally well.

Today’s gospel reading alludes to the importance of using one’s gifts well in the service of the Father as opposed to burying and dwindling them away. In the reading, each servant was given a different number of talents ‘according to his ability’. When the master returned, the ones who bore fruit well were blessed with greater responsibilities. The consequences for the unproductive servant were severe for not having done his part and his talent was bestowed upon the one with the best ability. Thus the one who had lived up to his complete potential was provided with handsomely.

To me, there are parallels between Dan’s story and the parable of the talents. Like the servants in the parable, Dan was given only as much as he could handle. As he stepped up and utilized his strengths for the greater good, i.e. as he used his ‘talents’ well, he was given further responsibility and blessed with greater successes.

And so if you were invited to ponder about your gifts, what would you come up with? Do you know your ‘talents’? Are you employing them well to serve the Father? And are you living up to your full potential the way the Father would have wanted you to live?