August 27, 2022
by Mike Kavan
Creighton University's Medical School
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Monica
Lectionary: 430

1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Psalm 33:12-13, 18-19, 20-21
Matthew 25:14-30

Praying Ordinary Time

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Today’s readings provide a great deal to reflect upon. In our first reading, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, is a sobering call to those of us who think a little too much about ourselves and tend to boast more than we should. Oh, don’t get me wrong, as a psychologist I know the importance of having high self-esteem. We are taught early and often to be proud of where we come from, who we are, and what we do. But Paul reminds us that God is not necessarily impressed by what we think of ourselves or our position or stature. These are meaningless in God’s eyes. What is important is our recognition that we are and have nothing if not for God. So, rather than boasting about who we are or what we have, what advantages us before God is our humility. Our ability to accept that all we have is due to Him. It is humility before God that allows us to open up to Him and to follow his message and the teaching of Jesus Christ. I recently read that – “My boast is that I belong to God – not because I was smart enough to find Him, but because He was merciful enough to find me.” God, grant me the ability to move forward in my day with enough humility to be found and to accept your word, and enough strength to convert those words into meaningful action.

Today’s second reading from Matthew is often referred to as the parable of the talents. Jesus tells a parable in which a master is going on a journey and entrusts his talents to three servants; two did something with the talents and reaped benefits, whereas the third did nothing and was cast outside into the darkness. Jesus tells this story to prepare his disciples as they wait for his return. Jesus understood that there will be difficult days ahead for his disciples - they will be tested and they will be scared. The parable is applicable to us as well. How will we behave as we wait for the Lord’s return? Will we bury our talents in the ground or will we perform to our potential with the many gifts that God has given us. Jesus has modeled how best to use our talents. It’s not about accumulating wealth, but, instead, about using our talents to serve others - especially those who are marginalized in society. So, the question is – how can and will we use our talents as we wait? I am hoping I am strong enough to use them in a manner that allows our Master to respond by asking us to share in His joy.

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