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75008 Paris

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33rd Sunday 19 Nov 2017

Reflection by Aidan Troy [Aodhán O Troighthigh] Please note: the view of the above alone.


I know that I am not particularly talented – not a singer, a dancer of note, an artist with masterpieces to my name, an athlete with medals to prove it. We are blessed to have many sisters and brothers who are richly endowed in these ways.

Today, we hear about what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like. I have no doubt that it will have many people talented in these and other ways. Jesus takes money, known as talents, as an example to indicate how we receive His gifts according to our ability. One gets five, another two and another one, each according to their ability.

It would be great if I could say that I am in the five-talent category. I am not, and neither am I in the two-talent group. The greatest gift [talent] in my life of which I am aware is that I am loved. When you are loved, you are the richest person on earth. When you are loved, you are already beginning to share in what it will be like in God’s Kingdom for all eternity.

Even though I’ve never deserved it, I know that I am, and always have been, also loved by God. Why God should have chosen to love me into existence all those years ago, I have no idea. But, I do believe that He has a purpose. My life journey is trying to discover His purpose for me. In this life I’ll never fully understand what that purpose is. In Eternity, God will show me the traces of his footsteps in which I tried to walk. He will show me, with a smile I hope, when and where I went off His track and thought that I knew better than He does.

Even though I am a one-talent person, I have no right to bury the Love talent. It only lives and expands by being spread with generosity. Of course, there will be times when love hurts. The Cross is Love revealed in the most dramatic way. It hurt Him.

The Love talent is the one on which all others are built. The great truth is that Love is all and therefore, we have not just two or five talents – we have divine love with which to live and to influence. God is ALL. Being adopted by Him, I have a share in all that really matters in time and in eternity. There is no greater richness that this.

Recently in a large group of priests, I offered an opinion that the sacrament that I treasure most is my Baptism. One priest not impressed with this, questioned why Priesthood was not my number one love? It was his. Priesthood is as good, in my estimation, as the depth of appreciation of the one living out their Baptism.

It was at birth that the love of my parents was brought to completion. It was at my Baptism that the love of God for me was sealed in my heart. These two Loves are the greatest gifts I have received. Being a priest is a privilege; without these previous loves being consciously treasured, priesthood can become a career rather than God’s call to Love all people as God does.

Simple talents are lovely and powerful. All ministry is God’s gift; the simpler, the more beautiful. At 11 a.m. Mass last Sunday, God’s ‘little ones’ brought colourful crosses they had made to the Altar to have them blessed. The joy in their eyes and in those who care for them in Gospel Group, brought a tear to my eye. This is love and talent in action, a foretaste of Paradise.

John Milton [1608-1674] became blind after completing 12 books of ‘Paradise Lost’; he also wrote 2 more books called ‘Paradise Regained’. His poem, On His Blindness, ends with the often-quoted line, “They also serve who only stand and wait.” Far from being a call to inaction, it is an encouragement to all of us one-talent people who are called to greatness in God’s eyes.

 

StJoeParis

Saint Joseph's Catholic Church
50 Avenue Hoche
75008 Paris, France
33(0)1 42 27 28 56
stjosephparis@wanadoo.fr

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