Be increasingly responsible

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THAT gospel parable about the talents (cfr. Mt 25,14-30) should remind us that we have to be truly responsible in handling the many blessings, talents, endowments, resources, etc., God has given us. We should make them bear fruit and avoid wasting them by using them only for some form of self-indulgence. These blessings are meant to show and develop our love for God and for others.

Let’s remember that we are stewards of God’s vineyard here on earth. As such we have been given enough powers to undertake our work. We have intelligence and will, very powerful faculties that would enable us to do a great variety of things.

Just like the servants in the parable of the talents, we have been given by God, our master, enough talents and gifts for us to make use of. Let’s try our best to be like those servants who managed to trade with those talents and gained also as much. Let’s remember that with what God has given us, we are quite powerful!

Since God has made us stewards of our own life, we need to learn how to manage the many resources entrusted to us so that we can be fruitful and productive in this life. Let’s remember that God will always ask us to account for what he has given us.

Among these resources, our time occupies a prominent and crucial place and plays a strategic role. It has been said that time is very precious because once it has passed, it can never be recovered. Some saints have regarded time not only as a treasure but also as glory, depending on how it is used.

We have to be really good in managing our time, being clear about the proper motives, priorities and standards in the use of time. The motives should be none other than love of God and others. The priorities should always be God first, then others, then ourselves.

And the standards should be such that at the end of the day we can ‘harvest’ a good crop that at bottom is a matter of growth in sanctity and apostolic zeal. We should be clever enough that, though they have their objective value, we do not get too entangled with the technicalities involved.

In this regard, I suppose having daily plans and strategies would greatly help us. We always need some structure to guide us and facilitate things. This way we minimize getting distracted along the way.

We need to spell out as clearly as possible our goals, both the immediate and the long-term, as well as the means that we need. We have to know how to distinguish between what has absolute value to us and what only has relative value.

What we should avoid at all costs is to waste time when we find ourselves idle and not knowing what to do, and in the process inviting all sorts of temptations to feast on us. This is a common phenomenon that we have to learn to overcome.

We should always be on the move, promptly doing what ought to be done in any given moment. This can require us to be fit physically, mentally, emotionally, for which a certain time may be allotted to do the appropriate exercises in the different aspects of our life.

That’s why we really have to be good at planning and strategizing our day, so we can attend to this need without compromising the other more important activities, or without getting confused and eventually lost.