Christ wants us to be productive

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THE gospel of the Mass of Friday of the 2nd Week of Lent (cfr. Mt 21,33-43.45-46) reminds us that Christ wants us to be fruitful and productive, making use of everything that he has given us—our life, our talents, and the many other gifts that we have.

The gospel also tells us that failing to be fruitful and productive is tantamount to nothing less than rejecting Christ. We should be wary therefore of our tendency to be lazy, to waste time, and to pursue useless and even harmful things.

Fruitfulness and productiveness here refer more to the spiritual and moral fruitfulness, a bountiful growth in our love of God and of others, than of mere material productiveness. More than profitability in terms of money and other earthly standards, our fruitfulness should be measured according to the growth in our own sanctity.

At the end of each day, we should be able to present to God something like a report card or a balance sheet that hopefully shows some improvement or growth in the virtues like charity, faith, hope, fortitude, patience, etc.

No matter how small or seemingly insignificant, we should be able to tell Our Lord, “Today, Lord, I am happy to say that I managed to hold my temper amid an irritating incident, or to be more understanding of an annoying person, or to be more patient and persevering in pursuing a goal, etc.”

Yes, everyday, we should be keenly aware that we need to be fruitful and productive. That’s simply because even from the beginning of our creation in Adam and Even, this has always been God’s will for us.

“Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it,” (Gen 1,28) God told our first parents, clearly outlining his mandate to them. It’s a mandate that continues to be repeated up to now. Christ himself said as much.

In his parable of the three servants (cfr. Mt 25,14-30), for example, a master clearly told each one to trade with the amount given to them. He was happy with the first two who gained as much as was given. But he was mad at the third one who did nothing with the amount given.

We have to realize that God has already given us everything that we need, not only to survive but also to improve our lot that ultimately translates into realizing the fullness of our dignity as image and likeness of God, as children of his.

In this regard, we truly should be most enterprising, coming up with daily plans and strategies such that at the end of the day, when we make our examination of conscience, we can show God that we have gained something, and that the daily balance sheet of our spiritual life is in the black, not in the red.

We have to realize that the capitalization of this enterprise cannot be any better. God has given us everything—life, talents, intelligence, freedom, all kinds of capacities, his graces, etc.

And even if we commit mistakes or we fall into sin, no matter how grave, his mercy is always available. It’s really just up to us to make use of what is all there for the taking.

We have to assume the attitude of a shrewd businessman who is keen in discovering new possibilities of making money and expanding his business. Thus, in our spiritual life, in our relationship with God and with others, we should never say enough in loving them! We can always love them more.