.- Pope Benedict XVI used his Sunday Angelus address Nov. 13 to remind people that God has given everybody both talents and a mission in life.
âGod calls all men to life and bestows him with talents, while entrusting him with a mission to accomplish,â said the Pope from the window of his apostolic palace to the crowds gathered below in St. Peterâs Square.
âIt would be foolish to think that these gifts are due to us, just as our failing to use them would be a dereliction of the goal of our very existence.â
The Pope drew his observations from Sundayâs Gospel passage from St. Matthew in which Jesus tells the parable of the master who goes on a long journey and gives talents to three servants. Upon his return, two have invested their talents and provide an enhanced return while the other does not and is condemned as âwicked and slothful.â
Pope Benedict said the passage should remind everybody of the âtransience of earthy existence,â given that âour final destinyâ and âmeaning of lifeâ is âdeath followed by Final Judgment.â
The third servant lost sight of this, he said, and âbehaved as if his master would not to return, as if there was not a day when he would ask him to account for his activities.â To refuse to use our gifts or from embarking on our mission âwould be a dereliction of the purpose of their (our talentsâ) existence.â
Given that the apostle St. Paul reminds us that the Lord will call us to account âlike a thief in the night,â the Pope advised that we should live âin an attitude of watchfulness,â waiting for the second coming of Christ âin the constant memory of his first coming.â
The Pope then quoted from his 6-7th century predecessor, Pope Gregory the Great, who said that the primary virtue that needs to be preserved and enhanced throughout life is loveâboth love of friends and enemies.
âIf one lacks this virtue, he loses all good that he possessed he is deprived of the talent he received and is thrown out, in darkness,â warned Pope Gregory.
Pope Benedict said that âonly by practicing charity, can we also take part the joy of our Lord,â adding that âthe Virgin Mary is both an active and joyful teacher supervising our path to union with God.â
Summing up his thoughts in his address to English-speaking pilgrims after the Angelus, the Pope said that the words of Sundayâs Gospel call us to âan ever deeper conversion of mind and heart, and a more effective solidarity in the service of all our brothers and sisters.â
âUpon you and your families I invoke the Lordâs blessings of wisdom, joy and peace!â