Our God is a communicating God and he communicates his very image and likeness with us his children. The ultimate communication of God’s love and care towards us is Jesus his only beloved Son. St John tells us, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life (3:16). God communicates to us through his word and he wants us that we listen to him and live his word in its totality. We live in a world of communication. Pope Benedict XVI in his message on the occasion of the forty-third World Communication Day said, “The desire for connectedness and the instinct for communication that are so obvious in contemporary culture are best understood as modern manifestations of the basic and enduring propensity of humans to reach beyond themselves and to seek communion with others.” Pope wants a culture of communication that propagates and establishes “respect, dialogue and friendship” which will ensure human dignity and worth, respectful listening, and establishing genuine neighbourliness. In this digital world, when our lives are ruled and controlled by social networking systems and new and sophisticated communication technologies that facilitate faster and effective communication, we should strive with commitment and conviction to use these means to proclaim Jesus to the world.
Pope Benedict also tells us, “Learning to communicate is learning to listen and contemplate as well as to speak.” A true communicator of God’s word is the one who listens, understands and lives it in one’s life. When Jonah preached to the people of Nineveh, they listened to him and repented avoiding the wrath of God in their lives. What we are called to communicate is not what we want but what God wants. The modern day tragedy is that we choose to communicate God’s word interpreting the way it suits us and thus avoiding the inspiration and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jonah would not have any success or blessing in preaching in Nineveh if God had not sent him, and if God had not determined to bring salvation to that city.
In today’s Gospel we have a demanding and yet a challenging communication from God. Jesus tells us about a man who, before he goes on a journey, calls his servants and gives each one a certain amount of money. The servants were not given equal amount of money but each one of them received according to each one’s capacity. This is a consoling and compassionate act of God which communicates to us the message that we are unique in the kingdom of God and we need not be producing equal fruits for the kingdom compared to others but it is enough that we employ the best in us with commitment and responsibility and grow in the God-given gifts. Though it is not important to increase the given talents by two or three times, it is mandatory to put to use the gifts with utmost care, commitment and hard work. The one who got the least turns out to be chastised for burying his money in the ground. Jesus wants us to accept whatever is given and grow in it. The person who received one talent was overcome with fear and anxiety and so he failed to respond to the invitation of his master. Mother Teresa said, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” She didn’t speak about doing great things, but doing little things with great love. Jesus wants us to take a forward looking move that ensures change and growth in us. All the Readings of today remind us of the importance of spiritual investments and growing steadily in our lives to be fruitful for the Kingdom.
We will continue to possess and enjoy God-given gifts provided we are able to put them to use and grow. The Lord will never take away anything from us but will only add more when we heed to his message and live according to his commandments.
– Fr Johnson Vattakkunnel, ssp