“What great profit you gain from GOD when you are generous! You give a coin and receive a Kingdom; you give bread from wheat and receive the Bread of Life; you give a transitory good and receive an Everlasting one. You will receive it back, a hundred times more than you offered.”
– Saint Thomas of Villanova (1488–1555)
Time, talent, and treasure: our most precious gifts from God bestowed to each of His children in unique measures.
Matthew 25:14–30 tells the parable of the master who is travelling and entrusts his wealth to his servants. The master is God, we are the servants. What are we doing with the gifts we receive? Are we using these gifts for the greater good of all, or are we hiding these gifts in the ground like the third servant in the parable?
Our time is not ours, neither theoretically nor practically. Our time on Earth is by the divine grace of God; our life belongs to God. He expects us to use our time in His service, for the good of all, particularly for those who are in need. Our time could be volunteer charity work, intercessory prayer, and worshipping God.
Our talent, natural or mastered through practice, has been granted to us by God. Our talent is immeasurable in value when we use it to benefit those in need. Helping hands have the potential to positively impact the individual, their family, their children’s children, and the community.
Our talent could also be volunteer charity work, lending expert advice in your area of expertise, and physical work according to our strengths.
Our treasure, earned or inherited, is a gift from God. Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
When we give our treasure with a glad heart to those who do not have any, God will replenish. However, we do not give to get back, we give because it is the right thing to do, because to see others without and ignore their need is to ignore Jesus.
Our parishes have established various ministries for volunteers to give their time, talent, and treasure. We encourage families to get involved in their parish. Archbishop Jason Gordon writes, “Missioning involves inviting families to think with a Catholic imagination, to believe that Christ Life is at work in them, individually and as a family, and to accept the grace of the Holy Spirit for transformation and mission. Then, families, schools, ecclesial and religious communities, parishes, and all Catholic groups will begin to share in this Christ Life – to think like Christ and do what He does.”
When building a house, a solid foundation is essential for the house to stand. Likewise, for a family to withstand the unrelenting challenges, a solid foundation in the Catholic Church is essential. This foundation is about involvement – understanding our faith, participating, and helping each other grow on the journey. This is our mission – our call to serve.
We could probably recall times when someone lent us a helping hand, came to our assistance, rescued us from peril, and gave us what was needed. These are moments when God came to our aid, sending kind strangers, friends, or family members to the right place at the right time, solely for our benefit. When God calls you, will you hear, and will you act?
The Feast of Christ the King will be celebrated on November 20. Nothing can be done without the Lord. Particularly now in these times, Jesus said all we need to do is call on the Holy Spirit and He will come.
In this infinite collaboration as a child made in His image and likeness, call upon the Holy Spirit so that you will be able to do not as you want to, but as He commands you to, being in true unity with each other, all for His glory.
In which ways could I grow in the collaboration for effective mission?
— Archbishop’s Appeal