Be a Good Steward of Your Opportunities in Life

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“Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21).

We do not all have equal opportunities in life, but we all have equal abilities to make the best of all our opportunities in life. In the parable of the talents given by Jesus in today’s Gospel passage, the master had three servants. To one the master gave five talents, to another, two talents and to the third, he gave only one talent.

Now, Jesus did not tell us the criteria the master used in distributing the talents, but the bottom line is, like these servants there is no way we can all be the same. It always seems like some persons are more blessed than others, but the truth is that God has no favourites. Just as our talents are different, our problems (defects) are different.

God who created you and knew you before you were formed in your mother’s womb knew your capacity and in his own wisdom, endowed you with gifts and talents unique to you. Avoid envy and pride. Focus on your opportunities, use even your limitations to your advantage; trade with your own talents – make the best of your unique situation.

St. Paul drives home the point perfectly when he exhorts us to mind our own businesses. “We exhort you, brethren, to … aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you; so that you may command the respect of outsiders, and be dependent on nobody” (1 Thessalonians 4:10-12).

You are unique, you are different, your entire life itself is an opportunity; use it and make the best of it. Stop competing with others. Compete instead with yourself by striving to be better each day.

Finally, the one who got only one talent represents persons who allow envy to consume them and fail to look inwards. They never focus on their own potentials. They are always complaining and blaming everyone else for their failures in life. As a result of their ingratitude, they fail to count their blessings and take no notice of the one talent God has given them. They even blame God for not being fair. This man was so used to complaining that when the master arrived, he complained about the master’s character saying he was a hard man trying to sow where he has not reaped.

The master called this servant wicked and slothful. In truth, we are wicked and slothful when instead of developing our God-given abilities and talents, we focus on pulling others down. We are wicked and slothful when we live with envy, picking faults in everyone and failing to do the will of God. We are wicked and slothful when we complain about our leaders, but fail to do that which is in our power to do for the overall benefit of society.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, make me realize that my very life is an opportunity of which I must give account, Amen.

Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu.