A Talent Empowered by God

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The Word in other words (2021) by Fr. Jun Javines, SVD (Rizal, Palawan)

Saturday 21st Week in Ordinary Time

Photo credits to Facebook of Carmen Acheta

There is a fundamental theological tenet that says, God makes himself present in history. In simple terms, it means that God manifests Himself first to us as exhibited in the Holy Scriptures; God reaches out first to humanity; God calls and invites us.  Simply put, God initiates and those He has called, like the prophets, respond, though sometimes with hesitation and flight like the case of the Prophet Jonah, and like the case of Moses in the Book of Exodus.

“Missio Dei,” that is, God’s mission, comes “first,” and we as baptized partake of such mission. The revered and brave former Bishop Romero put it more beautifully:

“We are not builders but workers.”

“We are not messiahs/saviors but proclaimers.” 

One of the themes of today’s Gospel is about the “talent” given to us by God and how we are expected to put it into good use and eventually allow it to flourish and multiply. This is where the interplay between “Missio Dei” and the Gospel message comes to life. The talent is from God, and the challenge is for us to allow such talent to be shared and empower others creatively.

Fr. Flavie Villanueva, SVD, the brainchild of the KALINGA (Kain, Ligo ng Ayos) Foundation, is one concrete yet humble exemplar of such talent empowered by God. His program for the poor attracted affluent people to do voluntary work. KALINGA has helped numerous street dwellers regain their dignity.

I can imagine Fr. Flavie re-echoing that part of the Gospel saying, “Here Lord, your five talents have earned five more.” How about us? What can we tell the Lord about our talents and how we have used them? 

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