Dear Sacred Heart family,
Have you ever had a friend or acquaintance who was not very confident? Perhaps they had a difficult childhood, or experienced bad relationships in school or growing up, and they never realized their own gifts. Whether they make self-deprecating comments or speak poorly about themselves, our loved ones often need to be encouraged. They don’t recognize their gifts, talents, or abilities. While we may struggle with pride, it is true that many people whom God has blessed with many talents often do not recognize their gifts or believe in their ability to help make the world a better place.
On the other hand, we might consider the worldly person, whose goals are only in the here and now. This individual is driven by a desire to succeed. While it is not wrong to pursue a better life, and we are made to achieve excellence, some people without a supernatural outlook think that the person who dies with the most toys, wins. The idea is that earthly success is the real measure of happiness. Yet when we achieve this success, we want more, and deep down, we know that something is missing.
When we consider these two viewpoints, we see good people who think they don’t matter, and worldly people who use all their talents for a few years on earth, to achieve goals that pass away and don’t last.
A great priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, Monsignor Charles Pope, points out that with our earthly goods, we have two options. First, we can leave them behind when we die, or secondly, we can ship them ahead. When you and I do good for others, it is an investment in heaven. Our help to the poor, the needy, and those who cannot help themselves, will be rewarded by God.
Now, this seems foolish at first because it seems we don’t receive a real benefit. It doesn’t show up on our earthly balance sheet. Depending on the tax laws, we may or may not benefit for giving our goods away. Yet at the end of our life, when we are lying on our deathbed, we won’t be consoled by the money and goods we leave behind. It will be the people we love, on earth, and in eternity, who we will care the most about. And so it is wise for us to invest in heaven, in our eternal happiness, by using our gifts, talents and goods, for the sake of the Kingdom of God.
God knows, in ways we only gradually discover, that each one of us is poor. We may be financially rich, but we are often lacking in strengths—impatient, proud, issues with purity, etc. So God is a merciful benefactor towards each of us. Gradually we start to discover how needy we are.
As I grow in this awareness of my own poverty, I appreciate more and more how richly I have been cared for, and blessed, by God. This should move us to use all our talents for good of our neighbor and the Glory of God.
From time to time, it is good to recognize that each of us has many talents and gifts, some of which we may not appreciate. We should use our gifts and talents and develop them with God’s help. The People of God, His sons and daughters, should be active in being creative to serve, evangelize, teach and inspire others to know and love God. Let us not be passive, let’s not sit by while worldly souls work hard for temporary goals. Let’s dive in and work hard to use our gifts for the glory of God and the good of our neighbor.
In Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart,
Rev. Bjorn C. Lundberg