October 19, 2011
1 Cor 1:26-31, Lk 19:11-28
Yesterday we celebrated the feast of Saint Luke the Gospel Writer, the Evangelist, who was a companion of Saint Paul and also a physician, as we know from the Acts of the Apostles.
It is said that clergy see people at their best, lawyers see people at their worst, and physicians see people as they really are! St. Luke saw people as they really are, and that is, much in need of mercy and love.
Saint Luke also knew that people, with God’s grace, are able to respond with mercy and love. His story of the good thief at the cross is a great example of someone who even in his last hour received mercy and love from the crucified Lord, and responded with love.
Saint Luke’s Gospel is known as the Gospel of Mercy. His parable of the Prodigal Son is the finest example of
God’s great love for us, and has much to teach us about mercy.
In Saint Paul’s Epistle which we have just heard, we are reminded that each one of us is called by God, who as the prophet Isaiah said, knows each of us by name and calls each of us to fulfill a specific mission in life. He walks along with us, protects us and strengthens us so that we may not pride ourselves of our own achievements, but rather on the love that God has for us.
In the Gospel passage of today, we reflect on His gifts to us and our faithfulness in responding to his generosity. Jesus tells the parable of various stewards who were entrusted with different missions in the upbuilding of the kingdom, and given talents, the tools, to accomplish their mission. Some of those stewards made fruitful their gifts with courage, trust and determination. However, one was given what he mistakenly thought was a little gift. He fell into the temptation of fear and lack of trust and never used what God gave him. He did not realize that God had not given him something small, nor a spirit of fear and shame, but rather a precious gift and a spirit of love, wisdom and strength.
My brother monks, we have all been given what looks like a small treasure, but in reality is a large gift, a warm desire for God that has been placed in our heart of hearts. It may not seem like much, but, in fact, it is Mary’s treasure, the only gift that really matters. The Maronite Church is enriched by this great little treasure that each of us have, and even more so as we act on it with all our strength.
A monk needs very little to live on, even though he has great need for God since his whole life is a prayer for his own salvation and for the good of the world at large.
Brother monks, I am a monk like you, but a monk in the world. I thus ask your help. When you seek God and ask for His graces, pray for me and for the good of the Church, the spouse of Christ, whom together we love.
May your vigils, fasting, adoration, manual labor, obedience and faithfulness to your rule of life be like an incense of sweet aroma to the God who hears the cry of the poor.
Yes, we have all been given a precious treasure – a heartfelt desire for God. How we increase this treasure, as did Saint Maron, Saint Sharbel, Saint Nemtallah and the holy monks before us, will enrich not only us, but the entire Church Universal, and in fact, the whole world.
When it is our time to render an account for that which we have been given, may each of us be able to say “Lord, here is your gift, I have made 10 more,” and hear the voice of the Master that says “come, blessed of my father, inherit the kingdom promised to you from the beginning of time.”
Our Lady of the Holy Trinity, pray for us.
May God bless you all!
(Reprinted with permission.)