BRIDGEPORT—Our gifts and talents are meant to be shared with others and to give glory to God, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano said in his homily during Mass for the Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Speaking from the Catholic Center chapel in his weekly online Mass, Bishop reflected on the parable of the master and the servants and how they used their talents in the Gospel of Matthew (25: 14-30), “For to everyone who has, more will be given. “
The bishop said that our goal in life should be “giving our talents away so that others may have greater life—that’s what Our Lord did on the Cross.”
Pointing out that the Gospel offers a counter-cultural correction to contemporary attitudes that “My life is about me, “ the bishop said we often jealously guard our gifts and talents as a way of distinguishing ourselves from others and making a place in the world.
“It gives us a leg up if. Talents are paths for us to excel and get ahead, make a name, find a place, become comfortable,” he said, but he added that the Gospel issues a grave warning and challenge about using our talents only for our own good or recognition.
The heart of Christian and human life is the basic recognition “that everything is a gift—the next breath, the next beat of the heart, the next day…,” the bishop said. “The Lord reminds us when we stand before him giving the sum of our entire life back to him, what will we show? What fruit will we have born because of the gifts and talents he has given to you and me?”
The number of individual talents and gifts we’ve been given is not essential, “because all gifts are given so that they can bear fruit not just for me to use, but for the good of all of God’s people. They are given by God to be given away in love,” he said.
Whether people experience success as a result of their talents in arts, business or other activities, we all have an obligation to use the talent we have to care for others and to help them unlock their own gifts, he said.
“How often have we used our gifts for the glory of God to make his presence known in the world and to give argument that God is real and alive in you and me, and calls all people to come to love and serve him?” he asked.
The Gospel even challenges those who have a natural gift of empathy for the suffering of family member and friends to expand their circle of recognition, the bishop said.
“Have we shared our empathy with others we don’t know, even those we don’t’ like and don’t like us? Have we used that gift for the greater glory of God and love of neighbor whoever the neighbor may be?”
Most moments in life are not about using our talents on a large stage, but simply sharing our gifts with people we encounter, said the bishop, who urged everyone to make an accounting of how they have used our own talents and gifts.
“The day will come when you and I will stand before the Lord, some of us given five talents, some of us two, some, one. The question we must all ask ourselves in the end is what will we offer back to God in the moment we stand before him? Let us pray it will be many talents.”
Before giving the final blessing, the bishop reported that the coronavirus situation continues to deteriorate and the number of infected has become alarming. Acknowledging that “We’re all tired of things we’ve been asked to do for these long months,” the bishop urged all to do what they can to prevent the spread of the virus and protect those who are most vulnerable.
Bishop’s Online Mass: The Bishop’s Sunday Mass is released online every Sunday morning at 8 a.m. and available for replay throughout the day. To view the Bishop’s Sunday Mass, recorded and published weekly, click this link or visit the YouTube Mass Playlist.
For information on the Sunday Family Rosary every Sunday at 7:30 p.m. visit: https://formationreimagined.org/sundayfamilyrosary/