“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. At once the one who had received the five talents went off and traded with them and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things; I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance, but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’Scripture Reading
Matthew 25:14-30 (NRSV)
We are given a life. You are given a life. You were born in this world.
So, the question of our life is, what are we doing with our life? What is the meaning of life? And what should I be doing with my life? What is the worth and value of human life?
You are given the resources. You are given the skills, the experience, the talent. What are you doing with all of it? In a world that is both dreadful and beautiful; in a world that’s a mixture of light, darkness, shadow, and everything in between, of joy and pain, of pain that’s sometimes joyful – what are you doing with it? How are you spending your life? How are you spending your time? Your resources, your skills, and your learning?
Life is not just about joy and freedom. Of course, as LGBTQIA+ persons, we are equally deserving of the joy, and the rights, and the dignity of this world.
But joy and freedom are not the only stuff of life.
Because every blessing that we receive, including life itself, is always coupled with responsibility and accountability. All blessings have strings attached. All blessings have conditions.
Particularly in this parable, all blessings have strings attached. All blessings have equal responsibility and accountability. You are not blessed simply for you to be satisfied or to enjoy. Of course, you are blessed so that you may find happiness, so that you may experience happiness. So that you may experience satisfaction. But equally, you are also expected to do something more with the blessing – especially if you’re a person of privilege and comfort.
Blessings are not given and received solely for one’s enjoyment and satisfaction. It is to be shared and to make something out of it. Relationships are not just romance and the orgasms and the “oh my god’s.” Relationship is about sharing your life. It’s about adjusting and being patient. Adjusting to each other’s quirkiness. Each other’s imperfections. Extending patience and understanding to someone who’s really annoying.
“Lord, sana i-bless mo naman ako ng jowa.”
Pero ‘di ba, having a jowa means it has an equal responsibility. (So beware what you ask for.)
Yes it is a blessing, but are you ready for the responsibility of the blessing? Nothing we receive is ever without responsibility attached to it. Responsibility that is also for our good and the good of others. And when you do good, when you do something beautiful and worthwhile with your life, and what you have, you discover that more is given. You are given great resources (not just material, and also people).
When you give and you volunteer, when you get the dream job or career, when you give and you volunteer, when you gain new learnings and insights, when you gain new friends and networks, new skills and experiences, your life becomes richer and vibrant. When you intentionally give your life, attention, presence, and effort to others.
The other thing about that is, blessing is a responsibility. You discover that as your blessings grow, the more is expected from you. But even if more is expected from you, you also come to realize, you get more than what you give. You will always get more than what you give.
And again, that is not just material. That is not just about money. Your life becomes richer and vibrant when you intentionally give your life, attention, presence, and effort to others. And to causes that are worthwhile.
When you give your life to something, to someone, to somewhere that is a worthy cause, you will always get more than what you give.
And one example of that is Open Table MCC. When you do things here, or when the pastor or other leaders ask you to do a certain task, you actually gain from it. You also learn, and even feedback and criticism is a blessing, because then you can improve, and you can progress. Even criticism, even conflict, sometimes, later it becomes a blessing. Because you learn.
Your enemy is your greatest teacher. Someone you consider as enemy, someone you consider as challenging, someone you consider as a bad person, will always be your greatest teacher. Because you will learn what you don’t want to become. You will learn what you don’t want to practice in your life.
Because sometimes, you will only learn, you will only be equipped when you actually do the tasks, and that is a blessing.
When you do something, it is a responsibility, but it is also credit to you. It will always be a credit to you, when you do something for others. When you give yourself. When you share your blessings. When you share your life. Also, when you are given something, it means you are either a trusted person.
You learn that when you invest your life to something greater than yourself, no matter how small it is. The tasks, the things that you do. You will always get more than what you spend or give.
The blessing that you have in your life, and your life itself- do you equally share it with others? Do you equally make something out of it? To something that is bigger and greater than yourself? To worthy causes in this world?
That is the question.