August 27, 2016
by Colleen Chiacchere
Creighton University's MAGIS Catholic Teacher Corps
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Monica

1 Thessalonians 3:7-13
Psalm 90:3-5a, 12-13, 14 and 17
Matthew 24:42-51

Praying Ordinary Time

These readings today offer us solace and comfort. The first reading also reminds us that we all have different gifts and none of us is strong or perfect or capable on our own. God calls each of us - in our lowliness, our foolishness and our weakness. The Gospel reading reminds us that we're called to use those gifts in service to God and others. We are asked to do our best with the "possessions" or talents entrusted to us. 

Two lines from the Gospel stick out to me.  The first is "well done, good and faithful servant."  I admit that I seek the response of "well done, good and faithful servant" that the Lord responds to the servants who multiplied their talents. I want to hear those words from God! That response exemplifies the loving God I know and the loving God that I am eager to serve faithfully. How can I do this on a regular basis, in my everyday life?  In these hot summer days, in our part of the world, when the humidity and temperatures tempt me to slow down, become lazy or fall into my own little world without consideration for God and neighbors, this message calling me to act in a manner worthy of being good and faithful, is inspiring and motivating. 

The second line that resonates with me from this reading is "for to everyone who has, more will be given..."  Sometimes that can be a daunting situation when one is doubting or insecure. But when I trust, it seems like the only logical solution. Sometimes, I am nervous about being entrusted or given more responsibility. Sometimes, I would rather stick to something I'm good at and be successful at without new responsibilities or challenges. But that's not how it works, right?

On this feast day of St. Monica, it is hard for me to ignore the surprising relevance to my own life.  I have an 8 week old son. While I haven't yet wept for him, I feel the same desires Monica does in her strong desires for her son.  I'm hoping for my son Xavier Arrupe to hold on to his faith throughout his life. I am hoping that he'll be a model of Christian service and love, modeling the examples of the two great Jesuits (St Francis Xavier and Fr Pedro Arrupe, SJ). Those of us who are mentors, teachers, parents get this same feeling; hoping, desiring for the young ones entrusted to our care.

May St. Monica guide and encourage us all these days, as if we're one of her children!

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