33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Homily
After the passing of our beloved late Cardinal Soter Anthony Fernandez, many Catholics and non-Catholics conveyed their tributes expressing their happiness, feelings, emotions, note of appreciations and praising of his accomplishments, etc. In fact, on November 1st, 2020, Herald: The Catholic Weekly, our local publication has published on the front page with the headline – “We Have A Great Intercessor In Heaven”. In this issue, many of his works and deeds were highlighted, and also his faithfulness and fruitfulness in his ministry as a priest, Bishop, Archbishop and finally as a Cardinal since 1966.
He had fulfilled his mission that God had entrusted to him as His servant and fellow worker in His vineyard for 54 years. I remember once when I came back from overseas, and I met him at a Monthly Clergy Recollection, he congratulated and quietly whispered to me, “I don’t have any degree or qualification, but I have completed faithfully the mission that Christ entrusted to me in His Church.” He had retired as an Archbishop then.
Yes! No doubt, he faithfully carried out the mission of God and mission of the Church in Peninsular Malaysia which had been entrusted to him till the end of his life as a true fellow servant of God in His vineyard. Without any tertiary qualification in education, he recognised and acknowledged God given talents, gifts, charism and the part that he had to play throughout His ministry. Today, the Church and the World can put our two thumbs up together and say, “Well done, you good and faithful servant!”
In today’s Parable of the talents (Matt 25: 14-30), Jesus illustrates that we each have a different part to play in the Kingdom of God. God has entrusted us as His servants to serve one another and His Kingdom on Earth as good stewards by using our talents, gifts and charism. In the Gospel, we see the three of them with different talents and each was given according to their capabilities and use them till their Master returns.
In our life, talents are referred as skills, gifts or capabilities. Some of us claimed that God did not give us any gift or talents. This is absolutely not true. All of us have been blessed with an enormous amount of talents and gifts to use in our lives. We need discover and rediscover those talents and gifts and invest them in our lives and ministries. We should not be afraid of using them in the way that God has led us to and invest them lavishly in serving the Kingdom of God. That’s what those gifts are actually for.
As a follower of Christ, we must be sincere in our stewardships by using our talents, gifts and potential into God’s plan. When the Lord arrives, he will praise us for our enthusiasm, faithfulness and efforts. We should not like the third servant who received one talent did not succeed because he didn’t utilise his potential instead he showed his wickedness and laziness.
The talents are not only for our own use but for benefit of others and for the growth of Kingdom of God. When we use them faithfully and successfully, surely on the last day, when God returns He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Let us not compare ourselves with others or we bury the gifts within ourselves but let’s together be committed to use them for our families, in our work places, communities or nation. We go and play our different roles, and parts, for the greater Glory of God.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy