Today, Jesus tells us another parable of our final judgment before God. We are approaching the season of Advent, and, therefore, the end of the liturgical year is near. God, giving us life, has also given us possibilities – smaller or larger – for personal, ethical, and religious development. It doesn’t matter if one has a lot or a little. The important thing is that what we have received must be made to work. The man in our parable, who hides his talent for fear of his master, does not know how to take risks: “He who had received one went away, dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money” (Mt 25, 18). Perhaps the core of the parable could be this: we must have the conception of a God who pushes us to leave ourselves and encourages us to live in freedom for the Kingdom of God.
The word “talent” in this parable – which is nothing more than a weight that denotes the amount of 66 lbs. of silver – has made such a fortune that it is even used in popular language to designate the qualities of a person. But the parable does not exclude that the talents God has given us are not only our possibilities but also our limitations. What we are and what we have is the material with which God wants to make us new people, new men and women.
Next Thursday, November 23rd, is Thanksgiving Day, a family holiday to thank God for everything we have received; many of your relatives will return to share and enjoy some quality time. In particular, I thank God for being in this parish and allowing me to share with you as a great family of faith. I feel at home and supported by your expressions of affection. Indeed, being a pastor with a flock like you is not difficult. Share food as a family, and do not forget to thank God for life and the great miracles received this year. Many are no longer with us, and we will miss them, but we have faith and hope that they are already enjoying the presence of God. May this day not just be a day of simple celebration and tradition but rather one of prayer and gratitude. Don’t forget to participate in the Solemn Eucharist on Thanksgiving Day at 10:00 am. On behalf of Father Paul, our deacons, all the staff who work tirelessly, and on my behalf as your pastor, I wish you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.
On the other hand, I want to invite you next Sunday, the 26th, to accompany our bishop in the Holy Hour that he will preside at the Saint Raymond of Peñafort Parish in Springfield, in which he will begin the last year of preparation for the Jubilee of the diocese. For the 50 years of establishment, this year’s theme is “Behold, I make all things new.” With this theme, we seek to “Renew and strengthen our faith for the future. In other words, this new year, 2023 – 2024, will be focused on Evangelization and works of mercy. It will be a favorable year of renewal and apostolic work. I invite all of you to join in prayer and preparation on this path of joy and gratitude for the goodness that God has given us as the Diocese of Arlington.
Finally, the parish office will be closed from Wednesday the 22nd at noon, and we will reopen on Monday the 27th. The Adoration Chapel will be closed next week. Adoration will resume on November 29th. I hope our staff can spend time with their families and take a few days of rest.
I have you in my prayers. Happy Thanksgiving Day!