Investment of Time and Talent
Sep 22, 2017
“God looked at everything he had made, and found it very good.” Gn 1:31
And then what happened?
God put man and woman in charge of the garden of Eden. The human being became steward or vice-regent of God on this earth. And as we know well from both the story in Genesis and our own experience, human beings made some big mistakes. We messed up, and we messed up God’s creation. In fact, the word for evil in Hebrew, loosely translated, means messed up. Literally it means broken.
Stewards like us can get some strange ideas. Pictured above on the right is JRR Tolkien’s Steward of Gondor, Denethor. If you know the story, you know that Denethor believed he and his line had taken over the place of the King; although they said they were waiting for his return, they refused to recognize him when he arrived. That hubris led to an unhappy situation for the Kingdom of Gondor and a tragic end for both him and his eldest son. One can certainly make an argument that humanity finds itself in a similar predicament on this earth. The Lord of the Rings, after all, is one big allegory.
So, as stewards, we are not perfect. But God knows that, and fortunately He does not expect perfect results from us. But He does expect us to exert effort, to try as best as we can. That is still not easy, but stewardship is our lot in this world during the term of our lives.
So the Gospel has lots of steward images because stewards were important people in Jesus’ time. Likewise, we are the most important creations of God, who can learn from these images what to do and what not to do. We must forgive others, show mercy and above all not hide our talents in the ground or use them selfishly. We must use our talents to grow God’s kingdom in the people and communities around us so that the life God has given each one of us will show a return on God’s original investment.
We can say that the ideal community, or at least the one God established to grow into the ideal community, is the Church. It is made up of sinners like each of us, so it is not ideal yet, but it is the field in which the good seed of God’s word is sown. It is here where we should use some of our talents to build up the community. The Church is not the clergy, not the religious, not the monastery, not the Archdiocese, not the College of Cardinals. The Church is the people of God. There are more people in Saint Anselm Parish than there are Cardinals or monks in the monastery. Cardinals, monks, religious, clergy and dioceses are a small part of the people dedicated to serving you. But you must serve you too because there are too many of you for us. The Church, this church, Saint Anselm Parish needs your talents.
You get to choose which, where and how. We need lectors to proclaim the word of God at Mass. We need greeters at the door to welcome visitors and explain where and how things are done here. We need Eucharistic ministers to help with communion at Mass; we need them to take communion to nursing homes too. We need ushers to help take up the collection at Mass. (Would you believe a few weeks ago there was no collection at one Mass because there was no usher!) We need your voice in the choir. We need Youth Ministry Core members to help with our program. We need Catechists to teach our children. We need servers at Mass. The Grand Endeavor Committee needs members to help keep our relationship with MHT in the city strong.
We need Saint Vincent de Paul Society members to help the poor. We need more Men for Christ and more Women in Fellowship. We need more pray-ers in the prayer groups and in Eucharistic adoration. We need you somewhere in the many different ministries, organizations and activities that take place in your Church. There is something there for you.
You will receive in the mail very soon, if you haven’t already, our stewardship packet, lovingly prepared by our Stewardship Committee made up of parishioners just like you. Please, open the packet and look at the booklet which lists and describes the many different organizations in which you can invest your talent. There is also a return card on which you can indicate your interest without obligation. Someone from the organizations or activities you indicate will then contact you to give you further information and get you started if you so choose. In any event, please do send back to us the return card.
Start receiving a heavenly return on your investment of time and talent today!