1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Psalms 33:12-13, 18-21
In First Corinthians St. Paul writes:
"Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards…
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise…
(For it) …is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us the wisdom from God."
Here at our Passionist retreat center in Houston, TX we have 16 weekend retreats for different 12 Step Programs. One of the expressions that they have shared with me is: "We are able to do great things; not because we are great, but because our God is great." Surely, St. Paul reveals to us the same message.
When I combine this first reading with today’s Gospel from Matthew, I realize that all my talents, however small or great they are, belong to God. Yet, as His gifts to me they are entrusted to me, but for His purpose. I can use my talents as I wish like the rich young man in the Gospels, but until I lay them at the feet of the Lord, I will always walk away sad as the young man in the Gospel. To the extent that God has entrusted me with certain gifts and talents and even weaknesses and limitations, for them to bear fruit and multiply and give life, God always invites me to make them available for His purpose in serving our brothers and sisters.
St. Augustine writes so beautifully that "the soul remains restless and until it rest in God," so our lives and our talents when invested in anything other than what God intends them for, will leave us unsatisfied, un-whole, if not restless. But in making ourselves and all we are available before God in prayer and through the directions of those God places in our lives in love, our talents and our weaknesses alike will become instruments of His healing presence and love in the lives of others. When we begin to sense God using us to love as Jesus loved, and see and sense the healing of those God allows us to touch, so many times we ourselves are healed and made whole in this graced process.
Let us pray that we may allow God to use our talents and our weaknesses for his purpose to build the family of God in the name of Jesus, our brother, who invites us always in grace: to love as He loved.
Fr. Joe Moons, C.P. is the director of Holy Name Passionist Retreat Center, Houston, Texas.