From the Pastor's Desk
In less than two weeks, we will be transitioning into a new Liturgical Year. A new cycle of readings will begin. The foundations of our faith will be recalled. The celebration of the Paschal Mystery will be renewed. Another component of our spiritual lives will have been brought to conclusion, as a new chapter in the story is ushered in, whose details and length of stay, are yet to be determined.
This weekend’s readings, though, are invitations to embrace a sort of examination of conscience. As we reflect over the past year of going to church and journeying in faith, in so many words, the Scriptures ask us, “how have we responded in the past?” “What have we done with the time, life, gifts, talents, and opportunities that God has given us throughout this past year, this most recent chapter in our unfolding lives?” It can be a sobering reflection, if we haven’t lived them in the light of eternity.
In Catholic eschatological thought, there is always a certain tension between living for the now, and keeping our eye on the future. Spiritually speaking, we have a golden opportunity while we are alive in the flesh to respond to God’s providence and grace. We love, we sing, we smile, we laugh, we cry, and we endeavor. All of these things make us alive in the present. It is incumbent upon us to live the current moment well, virtuously, responsibly, productively, generously, and grounded in God’s efficacious Word. This concept reminds me of the old Latin phrase “carpe diem,” i.e., seize the day. Spiritually speaking, we are asked to maximize the present moment, to find the purpose and completion of our lives and our holy vocations. Why would we not want to live our lives to their full potentials, and find fulfillment and happiness? I think that the Lord, himself, wants us to use everything at our disposal, all that is given to us, in the best possible way. Why would he not want the very best from us? Why would he not want us to succeed in the life that his gracious love has provided for us?
Yet, at the same time, it is also a sign of great wisdom that a person plan for the future, having an eye on the end game, looking to the finish line, at the object of our questing and searching: the promised reward for a life well lived. Indeed, it is important to be as innocent as doves, yet as wise as serpents. These final weeks of the Liturgical Year provide us impetus to get focused, and to live wisely, using our time, talent, and treasure wisely, yet again.
We should always strive to align our lives with God’s will, to enhance our way of living, so as to reflect the hope and promise of eternity in our souls and through our good use of the precious gift of time. Meditating on the quality of our lives in the present, becoming reflective practitioners, will help us to make our lives as full of love, delight, and spiritual accomplishment as they can possibly be. We must engage our intellectual, personal, and spiritual capital in the service of the Gospel and, in so doing, we will find life itself in Christ.
The Parable of the Talents makes clear that there are those who waste a lot of time and resources (talents), squander the richness of this brief and precious life of ours, and are thereby rendered ineffectual. May our humble prayer this day be, therefore, that we are open to use our “talents” ad majorem dei gloriam, i.e., for the greater glory of God, living well now in the flesh, as we journey toward the promised future in the Spirit.