Once I was conversing with an expatriate. He was a president of a shipping company and they were hiring Filipino seamen. He said that should he be given the difficult task of reducing manpower, the last people he would retrench are the Filipinos. He said they get along very well with other people from other nations, they will sacrifice for their work and they have extraordinary talents. In fact David Foster, a well-known composer, once said that the Filipinos are one of the most talented people, “There must be something in the water,” he joked.
In the Gospel, Jesus talks about talents and three things we can learn:
- Each person has different talents. This is only because each person has their own calling/mission/purpose. Hence, God blesses according to this calling/mission/purpose. This should be a reminder that there is no reason to compare our blessings with others. Otherwise, envy, loneliness, and ungratefulness will enter our lives.
- What becomes of us is our gift to the Lord. The Lord was very much pleased with those of five and two talents because they were able to make something out of their lives. Whereas the one with just one talent was too afraid to take risks and hence did nothing in life. One sad reality is that when we just look around there are also many people doing nothing with their talents or just misusing their talents to take advantage of other people.
- What matters in life. In the end, we will say goodbye to all the talents that we have. But what matters is how we made an impact in the lives of other people. As Christ said, “Whatever you did to the least of your brethren, you did unto me.”
Hence in this Mass,
- First, we thank God for all the blessings;
- Second, we may be good stewards of these blessings. They are given to us for a reason;
- Third, we may give God greater glory.