When God created people, He made us packaged with different strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a particular area of strength - be it to play the piano, to cook, to play basketball, to listen to others' woes, etc. He meant for us also to love Him. And in loving Him, we are called to use our gifts to serve Him not only in different ministries in the church but also in the lives of others. When we serve others out of our love for God, we are serving Him. What is the use of being given gifts when we hide them in the cupboard or use it partially in the name of "modesty" or simply out of laziness?
When we realise that our gifts and talents have been given to us for a specific purpose and when we grow in our love for God, and thus, develop an enthusiasm and yearning to serve God, we will act responsibly by using our talents for His glory. When we realise our gifts without growing in our love for God, we will only what we've been given to glorify and beautify ourselves as if we were the benefactors of our own gifts. There will not be lasting fruits from such acts. Needless to say, there will not be real fulfilment and lasting joy within our hearts. We will be left empty unless we empty ourselves for God who can then nourish and fill us entirely.
This weekend's 3 readings all warn us about setting our sights on things that seem to matter but essentially, by God's standards, don't. Jesus's parables are applicable to us even in our times, 2000 years after Him. What is the point of spending our lives building up a career, earning big bucks but in the midst of it, foregoing a whole lot of other things that are far more lasting and life-giving? It does not mean we slack, go without a job or do badly in our careers. Rather, it tells us to draw the line. It tells us that while we go about our daily work, we must strike the balance to know that while we can build up a huge bank account, when we pass on from this life, this huge bank account will then cease to be ours to own but will come into the possession of someone else.
Why then do we spend so much time at work that we neglect our family, our children, our parents, our friends, our God and most of the time, ourselves too? Why do we work so hard that we have no time and energy to serve God, to nourish ourselves spiritually, to pursue our hobbies, or simply to rest? Why do we, in the name of being successful, tell lies to cover up our mistakes, back stab and play politics, all of which robs us of our conscience? If we realise what is really important to us, if we realise WHO we are ultimately returning to and if we realise the "nothing" but our lifetime of deeds that we can bring along on our judgement day, then perhaps, our choice of activities and attitudes towards them would take a whole new paradigm shift to be more God-centred and loving.
31 July 2010
(It's the Feast of St. Ignatius)