Stewardship of Talent

Good and Faithful Servants

God has entrusted us with aptitudes and abilities, and as good stewards, we must use them for His glory and not our own. Our talents are the special blessings that each of us has received from a loving Creator. They are those things that we are especially good at or that we especially like to do. When we serve God and others by sharing our talents, we give something of ourselves, those characteristics that make each of us unique human beings.

We possess all the gifts we need to make a difference in the world – to build the body of Christ. Because the Church’s individual members do collectively make up the Body of Christ, that
Body’s health and well-being are the responsibility of the members – the personal responsibility of each one of us. If any member withholds his or her gift, the vitality of the Body suffers. The Church is built up through personal participation in and support of the Church’s mission of proclaiming and teaching, serving and sanctifying. We use our gifts in all aspects of our life – both inside the church doors and beyond – in our families, workplaces, neighborhoods and communities. This is true not only of musical, artistic, athletic, academic, business, and persuasive talents, but also of the spiritual gifts we have received.  Faithful stewardship of natural talents and spiritual gifts requires that we use them to glorify God and edify others. Our purpose is not to please ourselves, but to serve others. Our abilities come from God and He has equipped us to fulfill the purpose for which He has called us. Regardless of what we have been given, every steward is tested by the same standard: faithfulness.

How Can I Recognize My Gifts?

Many will argue that they haven't the right talent, education or personality to make a difference. God knows our abilities. He gave them to us. When we put ourselves at His disposal, He leads us where we can best share of ourselves and then gives us the grace to do the work He has for us to do. Giving back to God a portion of what He has given to us is an act of worship. When discerning our gifts, we must take the time to pray and reflect on our life, asking:

  • What are my talents (like music, storytelling...)? What are my special abilities (like sports, teaching...)? Which are the skills I have developed (such as cooking, cleaning, mechanics, building? What makes me good at what I do in my job or profession?
  • What energizes me? What are the occasions and moments in my life that excite me?
  • What are the deep and persistent desires in my life – desires that just won't go away but keep returning?
  • Are there any patterns of recurring observations or events in my life? For example, do I receive the same suggestions or feedback from several different or unconnected people?
  • What new opportunities are opening up in my life? What new challenges are emerging?
  • What doors in my life seem to be closing? What chapters seem to be ending?
  • What endeavors in my life have been especially fruitful?
  • In moments of reflection, what images emerge for my life?
  • What directions or decisions bring me a sense of inner peace?

Use Your Gifts

We are each and all uniquely gifted by God in a variety of ways. Owning up to those gifts, especially talents and abilities, is not prideful or egotistical, but true humility, when we credit God with our gifts and put them in His service. Our unique gifts include our very lives and the time we have been given, our Faith and the Church, our relationships, our work and vocations, our abilities and interests, experiences and passions, our intellects and personalities, our money and possessions, the environment and our citizenship, even our obstacles, weaknesses and mistakes. Once we realize how generous God has been to us, we respond with gratitude by developing all our gifts to their full potential, using them well to serve others, building up the kingdom of God, and sharing them generously in proportion to what we have been given.

We need not excel at something to be talented. Instead of asking "Will you volunteer?" ask "How will you use your gifts to serve others?" A volunteer can say yes or no, but as baptized disciples/followers of Jesus Christ, we are called to use our gifts to serve others and build up the kingdom of God. The Cathedral of Saint Patrick parish ministries have many opportunities for you to discover and use your particular gifts. Prayerfully consider how you can take part in building up the Body of Christ.



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