The One we serve longs for us to be generous

Three words come to mind as I reflect on this weekend’s Gospel: generosity, confidence and expectation.

This parable of the talents portrays a powerful person who is smitten with an enormous gift of trusting generosity. The master entrusts three of his servants with an extravagant amount: one talent is equivalent to over 5 million of today’s dollars.

The master never questions the servants’ ability, trustworthiness or integrity. He has absolute confidence that leaving these huge chunks of his wealth is a wise, prudent decision. When the master returns, he expects that the talents entrusted to the servants will be wisely invested.

Now, what do we do with these three words, these three servants and the story of our own lives? First, drink deeply from the fountain of generosity. No one ever loses at life by being a giver. Give of your praise, your influence, your enthusiasm, your approval, and yes, your financial resources. Be known by how open you make your hands, not by how closed you keep your heart. Know that the One we serve, who has entrusted to us the treasure of grace, longs for us to be generous.

Second, have confidence in God’s good investment in you. It does little good to look around and see the talents of others, judging your own to be insignificant or even unwelcome by comparison. God has given to all of us gifts, abilities, talents, opportunities that no one else may have. God’s good gifts come to us with his confidence that we will use them to his greater glory.

Finally, live with wide-eyed expectation. What would happen if we awoke each day expecting God to use us in some life-changing way to love others? Why muddle our way through a week with little expectation that one day will be different than another? Let’s tear those old ways of thinking out of our minds. In their place, expect God to make your life the treasure that it is: gifted, loving, hopeful, forgiving.

Who knows but God what wonderful chapters could be written in the biography of our lives if we would choose to live a more generous, confident and expectant life? And when our earthly work is done, the Lord will say to us, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Come share your master’s joy." Amen!


Father Dennis Hanneman is a retired priest of the archdiocese. Contact him at

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