BE VIRTUOUS WITH WHAT YOU HAVE (YOUR TALENT). HOMILY FOR THE 33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D

TALENT 2

Acres of diamond is a story that goes back to Russel Conwell, the founder of Temple University Philadelphia. The story is about a very wealthy man who owned a large farmhouse. One day he heard someone talk about lots of diamond deposited in some new settlement and how people who are living in that area are becoming very rich. That night, the wealthy farmer could not sleep. He began to see himself as a poor man and made up his mind to sell his farmhouse and move over to the diamond strewn area.

Some years after moving to the area, he could not find even a piece of diamond. He later became miserable and ended his life by drowning himself in a river. One day, the person who bought his property saw pieces of stone by the side of the stream by the farmhouse, they looked nice, and he took one of them home.

On one occasion, a merchant visited the man and seeing the stone he shouted and said: “This is the biggest raw diamond I have ever seen in my life, from where did you get it?” The man was amazed and tells the merchant that there are many of them down the stream on the farmland. Later, the man discovers that the farmhouse he bought is sitting on acres of the diamond. Behold, the original owner sold it search for diamonds which he never got. Often the things we seek are within us while we wander about looking for them in the wrong places. We are all standing on acres of diamond; we only need to be aware of it.

In the Gospel Reading today (Matt. 25:14-30), we hear the parable of the faithful and unfaithful servants. In the narrative, a man, who was going on a journey, handed some talents to three of his servants. The first received five talents, the second two and the third, one. Our Lord made it clear in the parable that each received according to his ABILITY; if you check the definition of talent one of the synonyms is ability.

When the man returned from his journey and asked for accounts, the one who received five talents presented five more and the one who got two submitted two more. With the servant who received one talent, the story was different. He returned the talent with two reasons: assessment of the master as a wicked man and the fear of using the talent. The master condemned his attitude while calling him a wicked and lazy servant who could not even deposit the money in the bank but buried it in the ground.

We begin by noting the master’s wisdom while giving them the talents. The narrative says they received the talents according to each person’s ability. This means that the master has a good knowledge about each of them and he distributed the talents leveraging on his understanding of each of the servants.

The subject of talent is vital for us. We all have various gifts from God which we could also call talents (abilities); there is nobody that does not have at least one talent; even the dumbest person around us. Success consists in acknowledging your talents and using it efficiently.

The failure of the third servant in the parable was the attitude of comparing himself with the others. In life, most people make the mistake of measuring their progress with those of other people. Let me tell you this; you are unique and special the way you are. You don’t need to become another person before you become successful in life. You may even have more talents that the person you wish to become and you end up limiting yourself.

Do not waste your time and energy watching others using their talents and wishing to be like them only to end up achieving nothing. If you stay on your track in life and use all that God has given to you, be sure that you will get to your destination. You don’t need to compete with anyone; there is no competition in destiny. You need to be a believer in yourself before you can become an achiever for yourself.

Another possible cause of the failure of the third servant could be the advice he received from people. There are dream and success killers in the form of human beings.The person who advises you often determines the kind of results you get. The third servant may have failed because of a lousy advice; “don’t use it, bury it.”

A woman started painting after retirement when she was seventy-five years old and became famous in the world. It was her passion to paint but as a young girl family and friends discouraged her. After three years of painting on canvas, she made more money that she made in her whole years of working in a corporate organization. Do not allow anybody or anything to take away or stifle your talent.

  • When people tell you that you cannot use your talent, tell them that you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength (Phil.4:13).
  • When people tell you that your background will not allow you to use your talent tell them that your background cannot put your back on the ground; remind them that your background is mount Zion (Psalm 125:1)
  • When people tell you that they will not support you with your talent, tell them that God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:19).
  • When people tell you that you are not able, tell them that your God is able (Eph. 3:20).

The First Reading (Prov. 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31) tells us about an efficient use of talent exemplified in a virtuous woman. The passage says she is priceless not because of her beauty but because of what she can do with her hands; she labors with her talent and has a fear of God. To fear God is to do His will which includes using what He has given to you. Using her talents (abilities), she could help others just as St. Peter tells us (1 Peter 4: 10).

The time to activate our talents is now. In the Second Reading (1 Thess. 5:1-6), St. Paul tells us about the day of the Lord which will come unannounced. The best preparation is for us to use what God has given to us to glorify His name. Salvation is an essential facility we have from God; it is a gift we must use to secure our eternity (Eph. 2:8). To gain the whole world and lose our souls is futility (Mark. 8:36).

Have a great Sunday and a glorious week ahead.

Fr. Bonnie.

2 Comments on “BE VIRTUOUS WITH WHAT YOU HAVE (YOUR TALENT). HOMILY FOR THE 33RD SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR A) Rev. Fr. Boniface Nkem Anusiem Ph.D

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