33rd Week in Ordinary Time: Matthew 25: 14-30
After the resurrection and before he ascended into heaven Jesus wanted to give all of us one more talent. Jesus breathed on his disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” He entrusted us with talents of love, joy, peace and hope. Then before being taken up to heaven, Jesus said to them, “Behold, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS UNTIL THE END OF TIME.” Jesus is the talent entrusted to all of us.
Two brothers were with their mother in Italy far from home. She became seriously ill. She was only 56 years old.
During her illness she became unconscious and for a while was unaware of her surroundings. The brothers ran to her side but she quickly regained consciousness. She looked at her boys as they stood there and asked with a puzzled voice, “Where was I?”
The young men were overwhelmed with grief, but their mother held her gaze upon them and spoke further: “Here you shall bury your mother.”
One of the brothers remained silent as he held back his tears. However the other brother haltingly expressed his hope that she might not die in a strange country but in her own land, since her end would be happier there.
When she heard this, her face was filled with anxiety, and she reproached her younger son with a glance because he had entertained such earthly thoughts. This son later said to his brother that her glance felt like the glance Peter received from Jesus after he denied him three times. Then she looked at her other son and said,
“Look what he is saying.” There upon she said to both of them: “Bury my body wherever you will; let not care of it cause you any concern. One thing only I ask of you, that you remember me at the altar of God wherever you may be.”
Would Augustine bury the faith he inherited from his mother, or would he truly remember her at the altar of God? Jesus warned his disciples that he would be killed and buried, but not his faith and love. If we remember our loved ones at the altar rather than remaining at the buried remains, we will get more talents every time we come to give thanks at Eucharist.
So often many of us are so concerned about what we will leave our children and loved ones after we die. We hope that we will store enough money and investments to survive old age and avoid nursing homes or become homeless. Unfortunately, children are sometimes motivated to stay close to their parents for what they may leave behind, rather than use the faith that they give while still living. It is important to pay attention and plan, but Jesus cautions us to not live in fear, but trust God alone. The two brothers did not receive a financial inheritance from their mother, but their heavenly inheritance propelled them all to saintliness… the inheritance of God, Our Father. Maybe it would be better to leave nothing to our loved ones so that they trust in Jesus, Our God alone.
Our greatest treasure is Jesus. Don’t inadvertently bury Him out of fear, but use God’s love. Go make a difference with the talents entrusted to you. Your talents (love, joy, and peace) can only produce more talents and abundant fruits. Let us give Thanks Giving!