Dear Brothers and Sisters,
This weekend we will hear the Gospel about the talents. We have already heard this story many times. However, I hope that this year it may strike us in a different way.
The other day someone said that the parable of the talents should be read in the light of the widow’s mite (the widow who puts her two coins in the temple and Jesus says that she gave her whole life). It is very easy to give our leftover time and talent to what is or fits comfortable in our schedule/lives. What we hear in the Gospel is that people go “immediately” to trade those talents. They did not wait for anything. Therefore, in light of this thought, do we do the same? Or do we act like the third person who buries his talent and gives it back to the owner later?
Today’s world teaches that we are on our own, and if we don’t take care of ourselves, no one will. However, we forget a few details of life. First, life is a gift of God, and it does not belong to ourselves. Second, God created us to live in community in this world, and not alone and fending for ourselves. Third, the gifts that God has given us are complementary with those of other people. This way, if each of us contributes with those gifts to each other, our lives will reach its peak. Lately I am exhorting the whole parish to discern what is our calling to serve the parish. Surely some of us are not gifted with singing, but some are!!! (I’m not one of those…) But then there are other gifts that we have. Whether we have a gift for welcoming people, helping those in need, cooking/baking, teaching either children or adults, etc., there is a place for us in the parish, which no one can replace us. It takes a village to keep our parish running and growing. Therefore, I urge you to listen to what God wants to tell you. It takes a bit of a risk to trade your talents. The same is to serve other people. There is always a risk to reach out to others. However, LET US NOT BE AFRAID OF LISTENING TO THE COMMAND OF GOD AND PUT OUR TALENTS TO WORK!
Having said that, there are three important things that I would like to call your attention:
1) Conmen have always taken advantage of people in the most creative, deceitful, evil ways. Nowadays it’s no different. However, with the progress of technology, and social engineering, con artists study our lives to come up with very convincing stories. Many of you are very generous, and, facing emergencies, you have helped me caring for needy families. In light of recent scams, I WILL NEVER CALL or TEXT YOU ASKING FOR ANYTHING. Please do not believe whatever is asked of you on my behalf. If you are asked something, please call the office to confirm the veracity of the request.
2) At the end of the month, we, priests formed at the Redemptoris Mater Seminary (myself, Fr Kevin, Fr Israel, Fr Francesco...), are hosting an appreciation dinner in benefit of the formation of new priests here in Boston. Once a parishioner here told me, “Father, if we want priests, we need to invest where priests come from.” There will be three nights, Tuesday, Nov 28 in Spanish, Thursday, Nov 30 in English, and Sunday Dec 3 in Spanish. It will be a fun event with a great meal, the seminarians playing music, and more. Anyone interested in attending, you can purchase the tickets at convivence.org and where it says seat me with, please write IC Marlboro. This way we will try to seat everyone together. Lee Ann can also facilitate the purchase of the ticket for anyone who needs help.
3) Next weekend we will host the annual mission appeal and we will welcome Fr. Sean McGillicuddy, C.SS.R. He will be preaching about his brother Pat’s ministry in Brazil, Fr. Patrick McGillicuddy, also a Redemptorist priest, works with and for the street population in Brazil. He and those who work with him run a spiritual and social center, a fully accredited school, a learning center for adults, and a drug rehabilitation center. There will be a second collection to help his brother’s mission. Please keep them in your prayers as well.
Finally, remember the Gospel of last week! Let’s stay vigilant and have our flasks full of the Holy Spirit by our good deeds. Lest we should not have enough oil and miss the coming of Christ.
Father Steven Clemence