“You entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.” – Mt 25.20
Last week, the church community was likened to bridesmaids waiting for the bridegroom. This week, the one who is in a relationship with Jesus, ‘the bridegroom,’ is personified in the poem of the perfect wife. We should see this poem applying to the whole church, not a description of a particular person. We, the Church, are the bride, living a life of service born out of our encounter with Jesus Christ.
This theme is carried over into the Gospel reading where we are invited to use our blessings (our talents, our time and our treasure) for the building up of the community. For Jesus, it almost goes without saying: if we are part of God’s family, then we will give of ourselves for the family, for the community, for the building of the kingdom. This is expressed not only in our loving service for each other, but extends out into the wider community. Jesus is very clear that this is a mark of our discipleship.
As a community, we are in need of people to live out a response to this invitation.
The impact of the pandemic and the shut down has seen our volunteer numbers drastically reduced. Some
ministries have ceased and will likely not start again. Yet, this may be an opportunity for us. The gospel today calls us to identify the gifts and talents we have and use them to build community. We have an opportunity to shape our ministries around the people and gifts that we do have. This is an opportunity to reimagine how we will ‘do church’ into the future with the people we have here and now. We can no longer do things just because that’s what we have always done.
There are some immediate opportunities for people to get involved with our Christmas activities. What we can and can’t do in the coming months will depend on the human resources we have available.
At this time in history, more than ever, we are being called to live our identity as a community that looks after one another, that works for the good of one another, that is invested in each other, and seeks to share that love and responsibility for each other beyond the boundaries of our parish, indeed to the whole world.
How will we respond?