November 15, 2020 – 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/111520.cfm)
As we are about to end the year and prepare for another year ahead, during these coming weeks, it is opportune time for us to review the year has been & about to end – especially as we are forced to deal & adjust with the life-threatening pandemic infection, and consider our life’s endtime or endgame as well. Yes, it is but timely & important for us to be once again in touch & in tune with meaning & purpose of our being and living life then-now-ahead, and above all, for us Christians to have a closer look & be in sync once again & anew about our views, attitude, & beliefs towards God’s kingdom – our life-eternal with God.
We have just heard about the all-too familiar Parable of the Talents. The master entrusted some investments to his servants – each according to his ability. As accounting day arrives, those who did well to make the most of his investment were entrusted with more investments & responsibilities, but those who failed to maximize his investments were deprived of further investments & responsibilities. Such a simple business principle. You reap what you sow. Same as in computer language, it is called GIGO (Garbage IN, Garbage Out).
First, God’s kingdom is all about our DYNAMIC and CREATIVE life with God – never should be a static and typical life. Like dance, life with God is the marriage partnership between God and man. For Him to grant us His blessing of Creation and Redemption, God needs a Partner. God needs us to be His partners. He needs our contribution and participation in the dance and marriage of Life and salvation.
And somehow this is how our partnership with God works: God provides us with the necessary materials or ingredients. He endowed & entrusted each one of us with unique talents, capabilities in attitude, skills and knowledge and opportunities in life (each according to his capacity). But for us to Participate in the Re-Creation, i.e for creating once again our life and our world, and for us to continue God’s work of Redemption, it is up to you – to each and everyone of us to take risk, develop, make the most use of, invest and contribute such GIFTs and talents.
Second, God’s kingdom also works in a different grading system. Usually using our grading system, we rate the individual student’s capacity against our own standards. Against our accepted standard, we rate them as poor – good – very good – excellent. We grade them with numbers or letters (60 – 75 – 80 – 98 or A – B – F). But in His Kingdom, in His ways or His eyes, God works with a different standard. He sees our basic goodness, our unique potentialities (each according to our capacity). He gives each of us 100%, or excellent or straight A by his own standards & our unique capacity. But like the servants in the Gospel, it is up to us remain at 100%, or settle for less… OR to take risk, strive more to be than 100%. It is not a matter of striving for 100% grade, but a matter of taking a venture to make the most use of our full potentials.
For instance, making a school project, like -baking a cake or assembling a radio. In school, we are given the opportunity to create those things. Our parents provide us with the necessary materials or ingredients or instruments. Our teachers give us a chance to cook a cake or assemble a radio. They facilitate and guide us in creating or producing the project. But to the last analysis, it is you who will make the project. It is up to your discretion and creativity to make your cake taste like cake or better than mom’s cake, or to make your radio makes sounds and sounds good. And as we all know; others would settle for less. But others would explore, experiment, and take risks to be more creative and to learn more. Therefore, in doing a project, it is a joint venture, a partnership between your parents, your teacher, and yourself.
And lastly, our life with God is mirrored in the state of our life here on earth & the state of our life then in heaven later. It is lived on how we make the most of & be responsible for His investments with us in life, & how poor/right & good/bad our marriage partnership with him. In other words, God’s kingdom is how we treasure God in our hearts.
Marriage, Venture, Treasure – are just but keywords to remind us at this time to consider that God’s kingdom is where our heart is and should be.
Now consider this….
In a dream, a rich man found himself at the heaven’s door with two angels. The angels said: “Welcome Home, Sir”. He was brought inside a posh five-starred hotel, where he was also welcomed by his former staff, friends, family & colleagues who have gone before him. Glad to be in heaven meeting again his people, he was then led to his room at 175th floor. Coming down from the elevator, he and the angels passed through several VIP rooms. But eventually, he was led into a storage room near the staircase with only a cushion bed on the floor. Shocked with what he got, he complained: “That’s it? Only this pathetic room?”. But an angel replied: “Well, that’s only we can do & set up for you from the few materials & resources you have sent here.”
Remember Jesus advices us: “Do not store up treasures for yourselves on earth… but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Mt. 6:19-20)
Set our hearts, Lord towards Your Kingdom at all times so that we may not lost our ways & not lose Your ways but rather live our lives here now on earth more directed and meaningful, and thus fully enjoy our being with You now and forever. Amen.