Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
As with all the Gospel passages of this Season, this week’s parable teaches us how to live responsibly so that we can secure our place at the banquet of our Lord in his Father’s Kingdom. Each one of us is bestowed with talents and there is no difference between those who receive more and those who receive less. We all receive according to our capacity; however, the important thing is that we place these talents at the service of the Kingdom. Unlike the third servant who was afraid and did nothing with his talent, we mustn’t be complacent and idle. This servant did nothing, gained nothing but ended up losing everything. The key message of this parable does not lie in the talents per say, but rather in the way that we responsibly live our relationship with God. The Kingdom is at risk and the one who does not want to run risks will lose the Kingdom.
Seven people who definitely used their talents in the service of the Kingdom were canonised by the Church last Sunday. Especially in difficult times, our Lord always seems to respond by sending us signs that reinforce the fact that sanctity is attainable and that his Father’s Kingdom is at hand. Frenchman Salomone Leclerq and Mexican José Sánchez del Río were martyrs. The former was decapitated during the French Revolution, and the latter was killed at age 14 in the midst of the Cristero War in Mexico in 1928.The Italian priests Lodovico Pavoni and Alfonso Maria Fusco were famous for their unconditional service to children, orphans, and the poor in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Elizabeth of the Trinity was a Carmelite nun and a French mystic who died at age 26 around the same period. José Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, known as "the Gaucho priest,” was famous for traveling around rural Argentina riding a mule, helping the sick and the destitute. The most recent saint of the group is the Spaniard Manuel González García. This pious priest breathed new air into the devotion to the Eucharist in mid-twentieth century Spain. These consecrated men and women are symbols in the Church of how our vocation can be placed at the service of the Kingdom leading us to sanctification. At a time when our Church and consecrated life is being persecuted from all angles of society, the canonisation of these saints comes at a timely moment to remind the world of the importance of vocations to the Church and to society. This is a wonderful blessing for all of us.
On a parish note, last week, we commemorated anti-poverty week by holding a car wash and lots of fun activities in the bottom car park to raise funds for Heaven on Earth. Heaven on Earth have been doing an excellent job helping the homeless in Sydney, supporting newly arrived refugees along with various missions in Fiji, Lebanon and the Middle East. It was a wonderful experience for the Heaven on Earth volunteers who really encapsulated the family spirit of the day. These volunteers are great examples of how we can use our talents at the service of the Kingdom! Let us all support them in their very important work.
Father Tony Sarkis