God’s gifts to us can increase our awareness both of his presence as well as who it is that we are called to be. When we share our gifts with others, we learn the value of what we have received. Perhaps today’s gospel reading might have us see that when we invest our talents to serve God we invest in eternity.

For those of us seeking to follow Christ, failure is not necessarily our sin. To paraphrase scripture, “the just one falls seven times a day.” Truly, we may often learn more from our failures than from our successes. In this way, even failure offers a reward.

The true sin is to fear failing so much that we never even try to use what we have been given, to share the gifts we have received. And in failing to use our talents well, we lose something of who we are.

How might we encourage one another to set aside fear and to invest our talents towards the service of God?

—Fr. Paul Lickteig, S.J. serves as parochial vicar at St. Xavier Church, Cincinnati OH.