What’s the Use?

 

WHAT’S the use? Why bother planning anything? Why start any projects or invest in the future if everything is going to collapse anyway?” These are the questions some of you are asking as you begin to grasp the seriousness of the hour; as you see the fulfillment of prophetic words unfolding and examine the “signs of the times” for yourself.

As I sat in prayer reflecting upon this feeling of hopelessness that some of you have, I sensed the Lord say, “Look out the window and tell me what you see.” What I saw was creation buzzing with life. I saw the Creator continuing to pour out His sunshine and rain, His light and darkness, His heat and cold. I saw Him like a gardener continuing to nurture His plants, sow His forests, and feed His creatures; I saw Him continuing to expand the universe, maintain the rhythm of the seasons, and the rising and setting of the sun.

Then the parable of the talents came to mind:

To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one — to each according to his ability… Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.’ (Matt 25:15, 24)

This man, “out of fear”, sat upon his hands. And yet, the Master makes it clear that the very fact that he gave him the talent means that he did not want it to sit idly. He rebukes him for not even putting it into the bank to gain interest.

In other words, my dear friends, it doesn’t matter if the world were to end tomorrow; today, the command of Christ is crystal clear:

Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides. Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself. Sufficient for a day is its own evil. (Matt 6:33-34)

And the “business” of being about the Kingdom of God is manifold. It is taking the “talent” that God has given you for “today” and using it accordingly. If the Lord has blessed you with finances, then use them wisely today. If God has given you a home, then repair its roof, paint its walls, and mow its grass today. If the Lord has given you a family, then tend to their needs and desires today. If you are inspired to write a book, to renovate a room, or plant a tree, then do it with great care and attention today. This is what it means to invest your talent “in the bank” to gain at least the interest.

And what is the investment? It is the investment of love, of doing the Divine Will. The nature of the act itself is of a lesser consequence. The Great Commandment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself, is just as relevant today as it was the moment Jesus spoke it. The investment is obedient love; the “interest” is the temporal and eternal effects of grace through your obedience in the present moment.

But you might say, “Why begin building a house today if the economy is going to collapse tomorrow?” But why does the Lord pour out rain upon the land “today” if He is going to send a purifying fire to cleanse it all “tomorrow”? The answer is because, today, not only the trees need the rain but we need to know that God is always present, always active, always caring, always providing. Maybe tomorrow His hand will send fire because that’s what we need. So be it. But not today; today He is busy planting:

There is an appointed time for everything,
and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to give birth, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to tear down, and a time to build…
I recognized
that whatever God does
will endure forever;

there is no adding to it,
or taking from it.
(cf. Ecclesiastes 3:1-14)

Whatever we do in the Divine Will endures forever. Hence, it is not so much what we do but how we do it that has lasting and eternal consequences. “In the evening of life, we will be judged on love alone,” said St. John of the Cross. This is not a matter of throwing prudence and reason to the wind. But prudence and reason also tell us that we do not know the mind of God, His timing, His purposes. None of us knows how long any of the prophesied events will take to unfold and how the works we begin today may bear unforeseen fruits tomorrow. And what if we did know? There is a legendary story worth repeating:

A brother approached Saint Francis who was busy working in the garden and asked, “What would you do if you knew for certain that Christ is going to return tomorrow”?

“I would keep hoeing the garden,” he said.

And so, today, I am going to begin cutting hay in my pastures in imitation of my Lord who is also busy in the garden of His creation. I am going to continue to encourage my sons to use their gifts, to dream of a better future and plan for their vocations. If anything, the fact that this era is ending (and not the world) means that we should already be thinking about how to be prophets of truth, beauty and goodness right now (see The Counter-Revolution).

It’s very interesting that Our Lady of Medjugorje asked families to read the entire passage of the text from Matthew (6:25-34) every Thursday—the day before we commemorate the Passion of Christ (every Friday). Because, right now, we are in the “day”  before the Passion of the Church, and we need the kind of detachment that Jesus had on Holy Thursday. It was on that eve, in Gethsemane, when He laid down everything before the Father saying, “Not my will but yours be done.” But only hours before, Jesus said:

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. (John 14:27)

That is His word to you and I today on the Eve of the Church’s Passion. Let us pick up our hoes, hammers, and briefcases and go into the world and show them the peace and joy that comes from faith in Christ expressed in living in the Divine Will. Let us imitate and mirror Our Lord who, though He is going to purify the earth, is busy recreating it today through all the billions of little acts that sustain it through His Fiat of creation.

This is love. Go dig up your talent, then, and use it to do the same.

 

This time of year is always busy for us around the farm. As such, my writings/videos may be more sparse until the crunch is over. Thanks for understanding.

 

RELATED READING

Trajectory

The Sacrament of the Present Moment

The Duty of the Moment

 

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Posted in HOME, SPIRITUALITY.