Over the past couple of months, many issues have occupied our lives. From the election to the pandemic, all atop systemic injustice continuing to manifest itself in many areas of our society.
Reflecting on yesterday’s readings, we are challenged to ask ourselves “Is now the time to bury our talents?” In the second reading, St. Paul reminds us that the time is coming—now is not a time to stand by and be idle. We are tempted to interpret the Gospel through our U.S. capitalist context, but during Jesus’ time, the last thing on the servant’s mind were gains from the market. Instead, scholars argue that people functioned under the perspective that there was a limited amount of wealth, which means that one’s gains came at the cost of another. In our society, the exploitation of native peoples, minority populations, women, immigrants, and the poor is far too familiar. Unlike the poetic admiration of our first reading, for too long our society continues to disregard the value and dignity of many peoples for being simply who they are or for seeking a safer life for their children and grandchildren.
What shall we do now? Instead of burying our talents, Christ invites us to use our gifts, privilege, and various abilities to take action. As Pope Francis says in Evangelii Gaudium, the Church “cannot and must not remain on the sidelines in the fight for justice.” Active participation means we must stand together to confront unjust systems, to lift the poor, and to protect the dignity of all of God’s creation. So no, now is not the time to bury your talents. Go out and bring about the reign of God here and now.
James Paul Gumataotao is a theology teacher and campus minister at Cristo Rey Boston. A native son of Guam, he studied theology and education at the University of Portland, and is a graduate of the School of Theology and Ministry at Boston College. Prior to moving to Boston, he taught in Fairbanks, AK as a high school teacher.