“What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Cor 4:7) The liturgy this Sunday reminds us about stewardship. God in his super-generosity has given each one of us with different talents, some are given more, some are given less depending on the mission of the individual. It does not matter whether we have one, two or five talents but the proper disposition why God has entrusted them to us.
In the innate fecundity of the human mind, our history has produced outstanding people in the fields of science, medicine, mathematics, literature, politics, etc. who, through their contributions, gave us a better world to live in. In the Virtual Revolution of the internet, there are visionaries who changed the world through their contributions: Tim Berners-Lee who founded the world wide web (www), Mark Zuckerberg who founded the Facebook, Sergey Brin and Larry Page who founded Google, Peter Thiel who founded Paypal, to name a few. They are some of the icons of technology because they did not just change the world but most especially the way we live now, for the better. Certainly they took up their talents and with their innovations and creativity, they gave them back to the world so that we can have free access to information, connect with other people and make life easier.
In time when evil seemed to triumph and when people stopped to dream and hope was a blurred reality, there were exceptional individuals that changed the world. Irena Sendler a Polish social worker who defiled the Nazis by smuggling some 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto and saved those children during the Holocaust; Oskar Schindler a German industrialist who saved 1,200 Jews from the Holocaust by employing them as workers in his factory; John Rabe a German industrialist who sheltered 200,000 Chinese saving them from the Japanese massacre in Nanking China. They are outstanding examples of revolutionaries who offered their talents to humanity; true icons of selfless giving in a world that only knew the self-absorption and scandalizing egoism.
When we listen to the parable, we acknowledge first of all God, the giver of all gifts, who in in his super-generosity has given us our being, our doing and our having. These all came as God’s gifts to us in packaged in time, talents and treasures. Because they are gifts, they are meant to be shared. First we have to acknowledge the talents given to us by God. Secondly, we develop them through diligent practice and hone them with the aid of tools like education and proper training. Thirdly, we offer them to the world in form of service so that others may live well and better.
True wealth are not the things that we acquire and keep but rather those which we have given and shared to enrich other people. We don’t need to be like Steve Jobbs, Oskar Schindler, Irena Sendler nor John Rabe in giving our own contribution to the world in the grand scale of things; we can be visionaries and silent revolutionaries through our own little ways in making this world a better place to live in.