We were all born with some raw talent. We could not have chosen the type and number of talents. These are all gifts from God. We use these talents and develop abilities. We invest time and effort into these abilities. For some of us our abilities acquired for us professional skills.

For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

This is part of today’s Gospel passage. Ironically from a secular viewpoint we understand this better. We continue to make use of our talents and our professional skills to accumulate more for ourselves and our families. We leverage on what we have and who we are. The more we have, the more we can attain. We start to build our own kingdom of comfort.

But what about the Church we belong to? Who will serve in the parish ministries? Who will build the kingdom of heaven? Often we excuse ourselves because we do not have the required skill set to do church work or simply we are too busy with our secular life. But the Church does not require all of us in our professional capacities. God gave each of us some talent when we were born. It is that person God calls, not the professional we have become. Neither is he calling us to quit our secular vocations.

To build the kingdom of heaven in the secular world calls for the use of the same raw talents we have and used to build our secular life. The Church is not calling us as accountants, lawyers or doctors but call for us to use the talents that made us into accountants, lawyers and doctors. These are talents in stewardship, leadership, organization, man-management, public speaking, personality, salesmanship, public relations, artistic talents and a host of so many other raw talents. These are what God want from us to use to build his kingdom on earth.

We can do this while we fulfil all our earthly vocations. God is not taking away what we have achieved in life through the use of the talents he gifted us. He is telling us that there is a dual purpose for the talents we are blessed with. These same talents that we have developed to bring us thus far in our secular life, he ask that we trade them to bring the kingdom of heaven along.

We have talents to build friendships. These he ask to build communities. We have talents to contribute to companies. These he ask to contribute to parish ministries. We use our talents to build our own little kingdoms. These he ask to build the kingdom of heaven. It is not so much to give up one for the other but to realize the dual purpose of our gifted talents.

When we realise about this dual purpose to our talent then the purpose for the kingdom of heaven must not be buried and hidden. We must unbury it and use it without fear for we will not lose anything by using it for his kingdom. For everyone who has will be given more.

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A magician is born with raw talent which he uses to acquire his professional skill. God calls him to remain a magician but God also calls for his talent to be used to build his kingdom. (Photo: Declan Tan, magician)

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time