- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

September 1, 2018

Fr. Justin Sheehan, OCSO

21st Saturday in Ordinary Time

There’s something wonderful about the one talent that our Lord and Master gives to each of us, to see what we do with it. Even a child can do something with it, and therefore it is so common that it is considered foolish and weak by human standards. Our Lady used it when she looked at Jesus and said, “They have no wine”. That was a prayer from her immaculate heart, and the talent that everyone has been given is the capacity to pray.

The person who never prays is like the servant with the one talent who went off and buried his talent in the ground. That is not what the Master expects of his servants, and he has high hopes for each of us, or he would never have entrusted us with this ability to lift up our minds and hearts to God.

When the Lord gives us the capacity to pray, he wants us to show that we can be faithful in at least this one small matter. We trade with this talent when we set out humbly to learn from God, to listen for his voice, to become foolish by human standards, living a chaste life in spite of the ridicule of others, so that we have nothing to boast about, except about the Lord who teaches us to pray.

Then, even if we have no other talent to trade with, our lives will no longer be commonplace. They will be bright and fruitful lives because they will be filled with the spirit of prayer. They will be a living, perpetual prayer that fills the most humble act of our days.

Above all, we should not allow ourselves to be discouraged by how hard it can be to pray. God asks only that we be faithful in this small matter, and that can mean walking for some time, as though groping in the darkness, humbly holding the hand of God who chose the lowly and despised of the world.

Then our eyes will finally open to the deifying light, which God loves to give to those who seek him in all simplicity. We have only to seek, and we shall find. Let us pray, let us always be at prayer, so that we may hear him say at last, Come, share your Master’s joy.