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Pastor's Letter 20231119- 19 November 2023- Creative Fidelity

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November 19th, 2023

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time


A Message from Father Michael

Today’s Theme:  “Creative Fidelity”

Reflections on Today’s Scripture

(Proverbs 31:10-31)  The quality woman of ancient times is described as the ideal.  The family is the ground for friendship, citizenship and Christianity.  Therefore, the qualities of a “good wife” should and can be enunciated by all who would be wise with the wisdom of God.  


(1 Thessalonians 5:1-6)  Paul urges the disciples to be always ready, lest they be caught unawares, since they don’t know exactly when the Lord will return.  We are “children of the light,” and the Lord of endless day is our helper and guide. 


(Matthew 25:14-30)  The Parable of the Talents is presented as an allegory of the final judgment, which will occur at the coming of the Son of Man upon the earth.  The servants’ reward is our share in His glory.  Our particular gifts are entrusted by God to be developed and used to their fullest extent for the benefit of all.  Of course, there are always risks—persecution, rejection and even death.  These must keep us from being productive and responsible.


Making Something “Of Ourselves”

Pablo Picasso once said: “It’s not what an artist does that matters, but what he is.”  Although Picasso’s paintings are now worth millions, he wasn’t as successful in his personal life.  In fact, it was something of a “disaster area” (especially with his relationships with women.) 

People may well accomplish great things in their public and professional lives.  Many people who become inordinately successful often have left their personal lives far behind.  Indeed, their successes are frequently achieved at the expense of their personal lives.

Today’s Gospel presents us with three people, who were given different “talents.”  The master praises the first two, because they used their attributes in a productive manner during his absence.  But the third servant was chastised, and censured, because he “buried” his talent.

When our Blessed Lord talks about “talents,” we must not think He means artistic or athletic aptitude, per se.  Of course, such abilities are important, and all credit is due to those who possess them, develop them, and use them productively.  But they are outrageously over-valued in our modern world (as is evidenced by the aforementioned millions paid for pieces of art, and the outlandish salaries of modern sports figures and entertainers.)  We would be mistaken, however, if we think His message concerns only material rewards—although, they is not ruled out….  Christ’s parable is intended to be understood much more profoundly.  Ultimately, the only thing that really matters is what we make of ourselves.

The woman about which we read in our First Reading could hardly be described as being either successful or famous.  Yet, she is held up as a model, because of the person she is—industrious, caring, wise and virtuous.  She possesses something more valuable than wealth or beauty.  Motivated by a “loving heart,” she has put her talents at the service of her family, her neighbors and the poor.  In so doing, she gains the respect of the entire community.  

It's a sad fact that some people who are born with great talent fail, miserably, in life.  It happens that inborn qualities that might help a person succeed at a given task are less important than those that help build a strong character—those abilities which contribute to one’s development of faith; patience; readiness to learn; and an ability to work diligently to achieve a worthy goal.  Talent is certainly important; but character is even more so.  Talent is developed in quiet; whereas character matures in the midst of the world.  

Those who might possess natural aptitudes, but lack self-discipline and patience to build on their endowments, may learn that talent also comes with responsibility, and in some cases, can be more a burden than a gift.  Gifted people may frequently become inflated by their ability.  They may forget that all endowments come from God, and we are merely custodians of those blessings.

If we ever find ourselves “basking in glory” over our innate capabilities, we must take caution not to overestimate their true worth.  Only when our faculties are put to good use, and serve the greatest benefit for all, can they be seen as having been truly, fully developed.

May God Richly Bless You!


All For Thee.docx

To view a recording of today's Holy Mass, click here:

Edited by Father Michael
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