Thursday, November 13, 2008

"To each according to his ability"

"To each according to his ability"
Issue Date: November 16, 2008 (33A)

BURNING QUESTION: "Does God Want You to be Rich?"
FEATURED BLOG: "Are you saved?"
RECONCILIATION: Ending a Bitter 10-year QuarrelP
ASTORAL HISPANA: Todos Tenemos Talentos
PLUS: Do you need help with your parish website?

Dear Friends,

We start our journey this week with Discussion Questions on the Sunday Readings for use by prayer groups or for individual prayer. In this Sunday's Gospel, Jesus preached a parable about a Master who called his three servants as he was about leave for a journey. He entrusted his possessions to them "to each according to his ability." It was the final parable and last major speech before His crucifixion.

Sunday's parable, the parable of the talents, seems to be a commentary on financial management. Timely, to say the least. Well, not really, says Fr. Joseph Pellegrino. Fr. Phil Bloom explains that Jesus is asking us to consider what is most important and to invest accordingly. He invites us to take a step.

Fr. Clyde A. Bonar reminds us that in this Gospel, Jesus only complimented two of the three servants, the two servants who took a risk. Christ calls us to risk failure rather than waste our talents. We are responsible to God for the way we use the abilities He has given us. Father Cusick says to use our abilities to enrich and help others is our fulfillment of Christ's command to love others as we love ourselves.

But the most important aspect of the Parable is that the Master will eventually return. Fr. Alex McAllister explains that the parable is about Christ’s Second Coming and the judgement we will all face at the end of time. However, the mere avoidance of serious sin does not make for good Christians. Fr. James Gilhooley tells us we must use all the gifts God gave us. If we are not moving forward, chances are good we march full speed backwards.

Fr. Philip Merdinger delivers a stirring homily about the Four Last Things: Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell. And we bring you a relevant burning question: "Does God Want You to be Rich?"

READING YOUR BIBLE. We are exposed to an enormous amount of Sacred Scripture at Holy Mass. But sadly, this source of divine wisdom seems to have little effect in the life of most Catholics. Why is this, when the Word of God should shape our lives? Maybe we need to understand that there is a difference between literalistic interpretation and the literal sense of Scripture. "Reading the Bible Like a Grown-Up" explains it well. And the Bible Synod concluded in Rome with an official statement from the Bishops which concludes thus: "Let it resonate at the beginning of our day so that God has the first word, and let it echo in us in the evening so that God has the last word."

LIFE AND FAMILY. Stojan Adasevic, who performed 48,000 abortions in Serbia, sometimes up to 35 per day, is now the most important pro-life leader in Serbia - after 26 years as the most renowned abortion doctor in the country. His is a gripping story. And if you're still struggling with Proposition 8, California's traditional marriage proposition, remember that it's all about protecting marriage to protect children. And if we consider that your marriage is like a garden, as in nature, how do you begin? "How Does Your Marital Garden Grow?"

CATHOLIC NEWS. Catholics and Muslims have signed a charter of rights. But now comes the hard part for Pope Benedict and the Muslim leaders - moving from theory to practice. And in the aftermath of the US elections, real work begins as President-elect Obama calls Pope Benedict - "And Now They've Spoken." And from their meeting in Washington DC this week, the US Bishops declared that they intend to support the new administration but also to stress areas of disagreement, above all abortion and other “life issues.”

AFTERLIFE. November being the month of remembering the dead, Pope Benedict pointed out that faith in the Resurrection should bring Christians to three fundamental attitudes. We list them here. Bo Sanchez editorializes that "Heaven Has Delicious Tinola (Chicken Soup) Today," as he remembers the passing away of the woman he considers his second mother. In another story, Jack returns to his hometown upon hearing the news of the death of their old neighbor, Mr. Belser. Find out what the old man says is "The thing I valued most in my life." Plus a moving story of a man who was befriended by a little six-year-old during his daily beach strolls. Read all about them.

SUPER HEALING AND SAYING THANK YOU. Gratitude is a virtue every man should cultivate. Yet gratitude means nothing if you haven’t mastered the art of expressing it. Check out "The Art of Thank You Note Writing." Finally we talk about something I've suspected all along: Super Healing. Our body has the amazing ability to repair itself!

Another eventful week in our Catholic world. Have a great and blessed new week.

Keep the faith. Peace.

Wally Arida
Publisher & Editor in chief

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