Happy are those who fear the Lord. (Psalm 127)
The Church in her wisdom places the parable of the talents at various strategic times throughout the year as a wake-up call. And here it is again at the end of the liturgical year and the beginning of a new one.
As Christians we are expected to use the gifts we have been given - the incomparable grace of baptism and the accompanying sacraments for a start. Do we use grace well? Do we pray and ask God's help for ourselves and others, for peace in our war-torn world, for our country, for the dead? And especially, do we persevere in prayer and not give up? Then there are the many material gifts we have been given - education, health, political stability, security, justice, democracy. Do we live and pray from the deep theological principle of gratitude for all we have been given? Counting your blessings is a profoundly Christian attitude.
The conclusion of the parable certainly is a wake-up call that we cannot ignore. We are told in no uncertain terms that the Lord will not accept our excuses. Pray well, pray often and hear the blessed invitation: Come and join in your master's happiness.