24th SUNDAY in ORDINARY TIME
Stewardship of Talent
September 16-17, 2017
STEWARSHIP OF TALENT
Homily Series for Stewardship Month, Bp. Mylo Hubert C. Vergara, September 16-17, 2017
Tayo po’y nasa ikatlong linggo na ng ating serye ng pangaral tungkol sa pagiging mabuting katiwala. Sa nakaraang dalawang linggo, pinagnilayan natin ang dalawang aspeto ng pagiging mabuting katiwala o stewardship. Yung una po ay Stewardship of Faith at yung ikalawa ay Stewardship of Time. Ngayon pong linggong ito ay pagninilayan naman natin ang paksang Stewardship of Talent.
To start our reflection, it would be good to recall an insight of the bishops of the Metropolitan Province of Manila about stewardship. They wrote: “All are gifts of God, entrusted to us that we may use them, care for them and share them with others.” They even quoted this beautiful excerpt from the first letter of Peter: “As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. (1 Peter 4:10)”(Stewardship Pastoral Letter, Oct. 1, 2016)
This means that God has blessed us with a lot of gifts from the moment we were born, up to the time and even until we undergo our passage to the next life. Minsan nga eh di ko maintindihan ang ilang taong walang ginawa kundi magreklamo sa buhay. Puro reklamo tungkol sa mga bagay na wala sa kanila na meron daw sa iba. That is why if there is one thing I invite you to do now instead of complaining about what you don’t have is to think of what you have. Simply put: COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS! There are so many blessings to praise God for rather than problems to think of.
What are the gifts or blessings God has given you? The first gift is your life. God chose you to be born in this world and live your life to the full. The second gift is creation. We have been blessed with the created world we live in to enjoy and use it for our purposes. The third gift is your family. Whatever situation you are in, you cannot deny the fact that you were born from your parents who were used by God to bring you into this world. The fourth is the gift of baptism that made you a Catholic Christian. You would not be celebrating mass here now if not for this gift, and because you are a baptized Christian, you are a child of God, the Father, and a co-heir to God’s kingdom. So when you die, God-willing, your ultimate destiny is eternal life in heaven. The fifth gift is the Christian community. God has made sure that you belong to a bigger family, and that is the Church. This means that aside from your blood family, the members of the Christian community are there to support you and make you feel loved. There are many more gifts that I can talk about like: friends, education, profession, mission, etc. I could go on and on. But the point is we have been blessed with so much in this earthly life and everlasting life to come.
So what does one feel when he or she has been blessed? I can only think of one word: THANKSGIVING. Kapag ikaw ay pinagpala ng Diyos, walang ibang laman ang puso mo kundi pasasalamat. Madaling sabihin lang: Thank you. Pero ano ba ang malalim na uri ng pasasalamat? Narinig na natin kanina sa simula ang sagot: The gift you have received, give also as a gift. This is what it means to be stewards of God’s manifold graces. We share our gifts and multiply them by empowering others to recognize and utilize their own gifts so that they, too, share their gift with others.
Kaya nga may dalawang hamon para sa taong marunong magpasalamat—dalawang salita: 1) Una, BALIK—ang Diyos ang unang nagkaloob sa atin ng mga biyaya at nararapat lang na balikan mo sa iyong alaala ang bukal ng mga biyayang kaloob ng Diyos sa iyo; at 2) Ikalawa, IBALIK—ang lahat ng kanyang ipinagkaloob ay nararapat lamang na ibalik o suklian natin ang mga ito sa pamamagitan ng masaya at kusang pagkakaloob mo sa kapwa ng mga biyayang tinanggap mo sa Diyos.
One grace from God or gift you have to consider is a particular talent or the many talents God has given you in your life. Maraming halimbawa nito. Maaaring mabuti at tapat kang asawa. Maaaring huwaran kang ama, ina o anak sa iyong pamilya. Maari ring ika’y tapat at mapagkakatiwalaang kaibigan. Maaaring matalino kang mag-aaral at nagiging tutor ka sa iyong mga ka-klase. Maaaring mahusay ka sa sports at nag-lalaro ka bilang kinatawan ng iyong paaralan o ating bansa. Maaari ring mabuti, masipag at tapat kang empleyado sa iyong pinagtratrabahuhan. Maaaring bukas-palad kang lingkod ng iyong parokya. Ano man ang talent na ibinigay sa iyo ng Panginoon, bilang mabuting katiwala, dapat ito’y ginagamit mo para sa iba at para sa ikaluluwalhati ng Diyos.
Once we share our talents for the good of others and the greater glory of God, we empower others to do the same. For example, good parents empower their children to build their future families. Diligent teachers empower their students to learn and to teach others in whatever career they choose in life. Hard working parish servants inspire, encourage and empower their fellow parishioners to serve their parish community.
Three simple things to remember to be good, trustworthy stewards of the talents God has given you: 1) First, count your blessings. Ang bawat isa sa atin ay pinagpapala ng Diyos; 2) Second, share your blessings with others. Ang pagpapala na ating tinatanggap ay dapat nating ibinabahagi higit lalo sa Simbahan na ating kinabibilangan;and 3) Third, empower others through the blessings God has given you in your life. At sa ating pagbabahagi ay mahihimok natin ang iba na tayo ay tularan. Ang pagiging mabuting katiwala ng mga talentong ipinakaloob ng Diyos sa atin ay pagiging mabuting ehemplo sa kapwa.
In our gospel today, we heard the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. The king gave a precious gift to his servant who owed him a huge amount of money. What was that gift: FORGIVENESS. He forgave him his debts. But, sadly, this servant did not do the same to a fellow servant who owed him money. Instead, he pressured him to pay him back and even put him in prison. When the king heard about this, he was so mad with the unforgiving servant and punished him because of his lack of compassion. We should not be like this servant who abused and even wasted the precious gift of forgiveness.
Let us learn the lesson from the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30). Like the man who entrusted his possessions to his servants and expected them to multiply them, the Lord will truly be pleased with us when he finds out that we have multiplied to the best of our abilities the gifts he has bestowed on us. And we hope to hear him telling us: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters. I will give you great responsibilities. Come share in your master’s joy.”
(Matthew 25: 23) Amen.