Sunday Reflection - Gifts to be given

A man walked into a bar and saw an old friend nursing a drink and looking very despondent.  “You look terrible,” he said.  “Well, I am,” replied the friend.  “My mother died in April – and left me $ 50,000.  then in May my father died.  He left me $ 100,000.  “Gee, that’s tough, losing both parents in just two months.”  “Well, to top it off, my favorite aunt died last month, and left me $ 50,000.  “How sad!” “Tell me about it,” the friend continued.  “So far thismonth, nothing!” 

My sisters and brothers, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be.” My friends, a lot of folks put their hearts in really stupid places. Where’s our treasure?  Do we even know where we’ve invested our hearts?  That’s what Jesus is asking us in our Gospel today. It’s a crucial question, because our happiness and our very life depend on investing our hearts in the right place. 

Look at the man in the Gospel today.  His favorite words are “mine” and “more”.  He put his faith and all his hopes in piling up more and more for himself. It never occurred to him that it was all just on loan and would slip away before he knew it.  He never saw that the best part of having something is being able to share it and enjoy it with other.  He discovered too late that the real meaning of hell is sitting alone and looking back at a wasted life that left him with empty hands and an empty heart for all eternity. 

My brothers and sisters, God gave us life and talent and all the gifts of this wonderful world – to be enjoyed!  Don’t let anyone tell you differently.  But we only get the joy if we share the gifts – as God shares with us. Gifts given and shared are the only treasure we can carry into eternity, the only sure investments we can ever make. 

That tells us where we have to begin, with name our gifts – all of them. Tragically, many of us don’t even see half of them.  So many gifts of mind and heart in each one of us:  Perhaps the gift to make music, to comfort, to excite; the gift to imagine, to create, to organize, and to make things happen; the gift to laugh, to feed, to heal, to build, to make new; the gift to be strong, to carry heavy things, to endure; the gift to see, to be wise, to speak out, to be silent; and always, the gift to love.  So many good gifts: All needed by others, and all needing to be given.