A Reflection for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, by Fr Dermott O'Gorman.


Britain’s Got Talent is one of the most popular reality TV shows of recent times. It’s where dreams sometimes become a reality. One of my favourite memories of the show was when Susan Boyle was auditioned. The ordinary, unassuming lady stunned the audience with her extraordinarily beautiful voice. She wasn’t afraid to use her talent and has continued to do so by raising a significant amount of money for charity.

Our Gospel today commands that we too use our talents and skills and don’t bury them. At primary school, a banner was strewn across the hall which read: “nobody can do everything, but everyone can do something”. We all have particular gifts and skills that, however seemingly small, can make a massive difference in the service of God and our neighbour.

Perhaps we get discouraged when, as the landowner, we feel left to it by God and feel inadequate in comparison to our neighbour. Perhaps, as with the man with one talent, we can be tempted not to bother and simply give up. But we should always remember that God has given us a talent and expects us to use it. It may be seemingly insignificant by human standards but is infinitely valuable to Him. If we’re not sure what our talent is, let us pray to the Lord Jesus asking Him to reveal it to us.

As the old adage goes, “it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it”. As the perfect wife in our first reading does her work “with eager hands”, we too can use our simple talents to make a monumental difference in the lives of others. As the Lord told us: “whatever you did for the least of these children of mine, you did for me”, so we can develop the talent of being a good parent or child, a generous neighbour, a cheerful co-worker. We can model the talent of kindness by reminding ourselves to give a smile, a helping hand, an encouraging word. As Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta instructed: “Do ordinary things with extraordinary love”. 

Fr Dermott O'Gorman