Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Dare to Be Riskier

Today's gospel story is not a scenario unknown to us either in hearing it or living it out!  Most of us could repeat from memory the story of the three men entrusted with their boss' financial holdings.  Two of these men did not fear taking the risk to prudently invest his monies, his treasure.  The third employee was more concerned about himself than about increasing his employer's holdings.

This gospel story is about truly understanding the heart of stewardship: taking a risk with the gifts God has entrusted to us.  It is no different than the risk God took in entrusting many gifts, many talents to each of us.  It was the risk that God took in asking his Son to give his life to redeem the world, that is each one of us!  The employees who took what was entrusted to them and determined to make more for their boss.  The third employee demonstrated that in his heart he did not trust his boss.  This last employee was more concerned about what losses he would encounter if he did not protect his boss' money entrusted to him.

This gospel story has a purpose for us today, particularly when 99% of us know we have to be most prudent with what funds we possess.  What we cannot do, however, is to allow that prudence concerning our monies strap our taking a risk with the talents and time that God has entrusted to us.  Risk   in using our talents should not be a victim of financial crisis.  Just the opposite might be true:  the more we give of our talents when our personal treasury is diminished, the more we are gifted by the God who took a great risk with us!  During times when personal finances may not allow you to be as generous as you may have been in days past, when there was greater abundance, are you even more generous in offering time and talents that God has entrusted to you?

Approaching Thanksgiving Day, we naturally  reflect upon the many "gifts" that God has given to each of us.  Are we perceptive enough  to realize that not hiding the gifts God has given us, gifts that assist others, will ultimately result in God's increasing gifts to us in even greater abundance?  Are we wise enough to realize that the riskier we are in giving others a share in our own time and talents, the more will God give us to risk?  Think about this:  what greater tribute could there be for a person than to be defined as a generous person!

The dare, the challenge, to each of us during these economically challenging days is not to bury our time and talents.  This is a time when we should be investing our God-given talents and time in our various communities:  the local parish or congregation, the local civic organizations that help others in so many different ways, the many non-profit organization who profit so much from volunteers' offering their time and talents.  Do this you and you will multiply God's gifts to you "ad maiorem Dei gloriam" as St. Ignatius Loyola taught his Jesuit subjects and those who prayed through the Spiritual Exercises:  all you do, you do "for the greater glory of God."