Last night, I once again stood for a while at my back door and watched the sun go down over the hill. The display was absolutely brilliant, as usual. Waves of white clouds seemed to surge over the house and as they drew closer to the hill they were transformed into incredible hues of crimson. As I stood in awe of the design before my eyes I couldn't help but take notice that every sunset I have ever seen has been different. Every one is new, fresh, and spectacular. If I were to see a picture of some person, place, or thing that I haven't seen for years I would still recognize it. My brain works in such a way that I can never see the same thing twice without noticing it. But with sunsets and most of God's creation, if I really take a good look, there are no repeats, no carbon copies.
Our God is a god of excess. He lavishes gifts upon His children. All the sunsets He paints are different yet beautiful in their own right. The oak tree produces not one acorn but thousands. He doesn't give me one dandelion in my yard but a countless army of yellow beauties that when they are finished produce millions of seeds that float upon the wind. God is extremely generous with His gifts. He does not hold back.
He is also generous in His gifts to me. However, I am not always generous with Him in return. Like the steward in the Gospel today I am afraid to use my gifts, my talents, to serve God. Here, again, fear is what paralyzes me and keeps me from serving God though I know I should. I am afraid of what others may think if I lift my voice and join the choir. I am afraid of what my friends might say if I volunteer once a week to tutor children in need.
All of these fears grab hold even though I know I must one day give an account as the man with one talent was asked to do. At that time, fear will be no excuse but rather a plea of guilt. I have been given talents, on loan from God, that I must give an account of in the end.
Lord Jesus, You have said over and over that "fear is useless." Help me to overcome my fear of the world and to be more "afraid" of You. Fear of others, or what they may think about me will only result in You taking away the talent You have given me. However, a holy fear of offending You through misuse of my talents gives me the desire to use those gifts to serve You no matter what others might say. Show me how You want me to use my gifts and then give me the strength.
FROM THE SAINTS
- Jesus is on earth in the Blessed Sacrament. Why? In order that we might come to him now no less than his contemporaries did in first century Palestine. If we thus approach him in loving faith, there is no limit to the astounding things he will do. Why not? In the Eucharist he has the same human lips that told the raging storm, "Be still" and commanded the dead man, "Lazarus, come forth!"
There are no limitations to Christ's power, as God, which he exercises through his humanity in the Eucharist. The only limitation is our own weakness of faith or lack of confidence in his almighty love. - Fr. John Hardon, SJ