Come share the Master’s joy

God entrusts us with so much, He gives us each specific gifts and talents; in return, He asks that we go out and use them for the betterment of others. Like the three servants in this Sunday’s Gospel, we are each given something of value, and even though no instructions are given, our hearts know what needs to be done. 

Yet, which of the three most embodies our beliefs or fears? We know God is a trusting and forgiving Father, wanting only what is best for us. However, He does not want us to simply hide away our gifts, or bury them in the ground, He wants us to use them. His desire is for us to multiply the numbers that come to Him, through our willingness to go beyond our expectations and those of others, bringing His forgiveness and compassion to those in most need of it.

We have been entrusted with His love and mercy, His willingness to accept us where we are, and to look beyond our human faults, to see the Divine child within. It is when we take this treasure and willingly go out and “trade with them,” that we begin to see the magnitude of His love and compassion. Our willingness to risk so much in the hopes of proving ourselves worthy of His trust, gains us the recognition and the acknowledgement that we are “good and faithful servants.” 

Unfortunately, too many of us sit back either in fear or apprehension, afraid that if we risk too much, we may be hurt, or worse yet, forgotten. Yet it is only when we put ourselves out there, that we enter into friendships and rewarding relationships. Jesus is telling His followers and us, that in order to receive the rewards of Heaven, we must be willing to do the work, risk our own uncomfortableness, and go beyond our safety net.

Let’s be honest, it is often so much easier to just bury away our talents than risk being ridiculed or chastised for our beliefs and principles. As a child I played a musical instrument, and even though I was told I was pretty good, fear of rejection often kept me from playing for others. After a while I realized that I truly enjoyed playing, and eventually learned to play as if no one was around or watching.  

In time, I came to enjoy playing for others, and sharing my gift and talent with them. It required trust, belief, and replacing fear with the knowledge that I was bringing joy to others. 

It is no different from what is being asked of us. Yes, we may experience fear and often expressing our faith and beliefs can be met with derision and rejection, but what of the reward? Oh, to turn our fear into hope would open doors we could never imagine. Jesus tells us through the parable that those servants who multiplied the coins they were given were rewarded with “greater responsibilities” and invited to “come share their master’s joy.” It is no different than being recognized for a job well done and invited to be part of something bigger, for example being given a raise or a promotion, or being asked to lead a group or ministry.  

All of us have innate potential to be so much more, and like the servants in the parable, God gives us small tasks to accomplish. With each accomplishment, we are given more and more responsibility. Yet our fear will sometimes prevent us from completing what is being asked of us. We are given so many opportunities to increase the Kingdom’s treasures, yet too often we miss the chance to make a difference.

For instance, we hold back forgiveness, instead of moving on; we question someone’s motive, rather than trust that we are doing God’s work. We choose to see the negative aspects, rather than realizing that we all have bad days, and maybe we are the only ray of sunshine in someone else’s day. That a simple gesture of kindness, even when we are struggling, can lift us up and fill us with love and compassion. 

So let us go out and multiply what has been entrusted to us, letting our faith guide us, and turning our fear into hope, not only for ourselves but for those we encounter. Lest we be turned away and left in the “darkness where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” For Jesus reminds us that the more we give, the more we receive in return. When we share and give freely of ourselves, our gifts and our talents, we become like the two industrious servants, who “more will be given and we will grow rich.”  

Anchor columnist Rose Mary Saraiva is Events Coordinator and Bereavement Ministry for the diocesan Office of Faith Formation.

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