Talents and Blessings

11-19-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Bing Colasito

In the Gospel today, Jesus reminds us that God gave talents to all of us. No one is without talent, but we need to discover, develop, and put to good use whatever talent we have received. In Scripture: Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. (Mt.5:15)Talents, like lighted lamps, are not to be hidden and put to waste but must be developed and shared. At the right time, we will be accountable for all our God-given talents.

In life, all have gifts, but some are more gifted than others. A gift may come naturally for a person, but for many a potential that needs development. A naturally blessed person who further enhances by practicing the skills and discipline required ends up exceptionally good with their craft. Looking at it squarely, this may seem unfair, but the equalizer is at the final accounting when each of us will be judged not by quantity or quality of the gift but according to the development and use of our talents. For everyone who has will more be given, and he will grow rich, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Simplifying it: to whom much is given, much is also required.

Tito, a mentally challenged man whom I lived with in my first parish assignment upon ordination, could not speak and had an aptitude of a five (5) year old. Yet, he can sing the karaoke using mumbles and even get a (100%) perfect rating. He plays with the parish choir with his maracas(also called a shaker) or with the tambourine and has impeccable timing with other instruments. In comparison, many in the parish, including myself, are astonished by Tito’s gift in karaoke singing and percussion instruments and could only wish we had those talents. In truth, he had the gift, but it was also of hard work and practice. He volunteered when no one wanted to start a karaoke singing and played his instruments while listening to radio music and cassette tapes. The point is, in every community, there is no lack of talents but only a shortage of willingness and diligence.

The Gospel reminds us that God is the source of talents, and we are all stewards. As stewards entrusted by God, He expects us to see the value of work developing our talents: hard and honest work. Are we hardworking or hardly working? Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent perspiration. (Thomas Edison)They say that success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, sacrifice, and love for what we are doing or learning to do.

It is true that some people have more talents. But talents and blessings can also be developed and made. There are people who have talents but don’t succeed and people who are not so talented but excel. Why? Because they do their best and give their very best. The road to humility and hard work leads to true success.

Lord, at the end of our lives, may we have no regrets that we did so little or too late to use or share our talents, charisms, and resources. Lord, thank you for all your blessings, and may we use them for others and for the glory of your Kingdom.