A special thank you this week to our friends from St. Joseph/Immaculate Conception, Chicago ; and St. Benedict Parish, Chicago in the congregation.

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Old Rabbi Samuel had come to the end of his life. Old Rabbi Samuel was looking at going home to God. He was speculating on what God would say to him. Old Rabbi Samuel thought that God might say to him something like this, “Old Rabbi Samuel, why maybe weren’t you more like Moses during the course of your life, really sharing the law with people and holding them according them to the law.”

Maybe Old Rabbi Samuel thought that maybe God would say something like this, “Old Rabbi Samuel, why were you not more like the great King David, in wisdom and in power? Why weren’t you more like the great King David?”

Then another thought came over Old Rabbi Samuel. Old Rabbi Samuel was actually taken by this next thought. Old Rabbi Samuel thought that God would probably look at Old Rabbi Samuel and say, “Old Rabbi Samuel, were you the best Rabbi Samuel you could possibly be in your lifetime?” Rabbi Samuel was quite unnerved by that imitation. He thought to himself, was he the best Rabbi Samuel he could possibly be?

I share that little story because the Gospel today invites us to think about how we have been good stewards, how we are good stewards of all that God has given us. We think about in this story of the master giving away the talents, the five talents, the three talents, the one talent. We think about the talents, the gifts, that we’ve been given in life. They are many. We’ve been given so many gifts by God. How have we been good stewards of those gifts that God has given us? We take this opportunity to think about today how we are called to be and are good stewards, or is there more that we can do, is there more that we can give. Maybe not financially, but is there more love we can share? Is there more generosity we could have? Is there more hopefulness that we could share with one another.

Especially in relationship to that second reading from Saint Paul, when Saint Paul talks about the thief catching us off guard, like a thief in the night. Especially in the midst of transitions, when people typically aren’t their best in the midst of transitions, how are we called to be the best stewards we can with our love, with our hope, with our kindness, with our joy, with the talents and gifts that God has given us. Just like in the Gospel for today, we’re given so much. How do we then be good stewards of all that’s been gifted to us? Jesus calls us and God will ask us to make an account for those when we see him face to face in the kingdom of paradise.