Gift and Responsibility
“‘His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.”
Responsibility is not a word we usually associate with gifts. We love gifts, but we don’t like responsibility. We enjoy gifts but associate them with freedom from responsibility. “It’s a gift. I can do whatever I want to with it,” we think to ourselves. Imagine being required to give a report on what you did with last year’s Christmas presents! Can’t we just enjoy our gifts?
This week’s Gospel reminds us that the gifts we have received from God aren’t given to us for our benefit. We may enjoy the gifts God has given us, but God has given us these gifts to benefit others. Like much of what Jesus teaches, we discover that when it comes to gifts, “it’s not really about us” at all. Everything is about the Kingdom of God. Our lives and our gifts are part of a much bigger reality than we can imagine. We are called to not just enjoy our gifts, but also to risk using them for the kingdom.
And it doesn’t matter what the gift is. We may not like it. We may think it is a useless gift. We may be embarrassed by it or be afraid to use it. But what we think about our gift doesn’t matter. No matter how small or seemingly useless the gift is, it has a glorious destiny. It is destined to help build God’s kingdom. St. Teresa of Calcutta (aka Mother Teresa) is often quoted as saying,
“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
This is good news! If you want to find lasting joy, find a way to use your gifts, whatever they are, to serve others, and help build God’s kingdom. There is a new kind of freedom that we discover when we give our gifts away. It is freedom from ourselves and the freedom to love.
“Come, share your master’s joy.”
Parish Pastoral Leader