Thirty-Third Sunday of
19th November 2017
Gifts that differ
Differently-abled, an American expression of the '80s, always struck a chord with me despite its awkward sound. For in Christian terms that is exactly what we are: differently abled. And all our abilities are given us for the good of the community.
The parable of the traded talents illustrates the point with some force: even the man with just one talent was expected to use it well, but fear caused him to bury it in the ground.
Could it be that this same fear that hampers us today? We have a gift for seeing the truth but fear of looking stupid keeps us silent. We would love to commit deeply to living gospel simplicity but fear of looking too pious makes us shy. We are blessed with a gift of a listening ear but have never thought ourselves worthy to be a counsellor.
The fear-driven man in the story cites fear of God as the reason for his wasteful behaviour, but in our age it is more likely to be fear of peer-group pressure.
Among the gifts that are needed to build community these 'background' gifts are just as important as the more obvious 'foreground' gifts, and their waste is truly tragic.
Could we make the coming season of Advent a time for valuing these background gifts in one another, to better shape God's kingdom here on earth?