Are we sharing our blessings?

Ervin TanReflections

God desires that we use all the blessings, which He has given us freely, to love one another, says Fr Philip Heng. Photo: Peter Schad on Unsplash

Are we sharing our blessings?

The parable of the tenants of the vineyard in Matthew 21:33-44 tells of their ingratitude towards what they received from the landlord. While Jesus directed it at the chief priests and Pharisees, Father Philip Heng, SJ shows that this parable is also meant to challenge each one of us.

The fundamental fault and sin of the tenants in the parable is that they had forgotten or had chosen not to accept the truth that the vineyard did not belong to them. It belonged to the landlord, who merely leased it to them.

As tenants, they were to till the land and at harvest time, share the produce with the landlord. Instead, they were overcome by greed and went so far as to kill the landlord’s son so that they could take over his inheritance.

Stewards of God’s blessings

Like the tenants, we have also received and continue to receive God’s abundant blessings every day, throughout our lives. Will we fall into the same trap of ingratitude like the tenants in the parable? Or will we live a mindful life that is conscious of the reality that, like the tenants, you and I are merely stewards of the abundant blessings that G0od has given us?

As Christians, we see stewardship as the management of whatever a person is entrusted with, not only to preserve but profitably administer for his master, that is, God. Ultimately, Christian stewardship teaches that we are not owners but only custodians of God’s gifts in this world, to use them to produce the fruits of eternal life.

In other words, everything that we have, and what we are today, have come from God. We do not own the blessings and graces that God has given us. Even the life that we have is a pure gift to us from God.

As such, we are each called to be good stewards of the gift of life and the abundant blessings that God has showered on us. We are given the responsibilities of taking care of our lives and living in accordance with God’s love and ways.

Using God’s blessings to love others

Are we not similar to the ungrateful tenants, fundamentally failing to be grateful to God for all the blessings that we have received and continue to receive from Him daily?

Or are we able to see the bigger picture of how blessed we are to have a God who loves us so fully and unconditionally? Have we been grateful stewards or ungrateful recipients?

God in His overwhelming goodness and love has and continues to bless us with life, family, financial wealth, health, intelligence, talents, work and relationships. God desires that we use all these blessings, which He has given us freely, to love one another as brothers and sisters. In the end when we die, we will be able to receive the final divine gift of living for all eternity in happiness with God in heaven.

In fact, the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) teaches us that “the ownership of any property makes its holder a steward of Providence, with the task of making it fruitful and communicating its benefits to others …” (CCC 2404).

Growing in holiness

The parable of the tenants in the Gospel could one day be our story too if we are not vigilant in showing our gratitude to God and not sharing our blessings with others daily.

And so, let us be reminded that every day given to us is meant to be lived meaningfully and fruitfully, not routinely. If we have a greater awareness of God’s presence in our lives, each day will be filled with opportunities to live our lives fully, growing in holiness and intimacy with Jesus. Every encounter with others will become an opportunity to show His compassion, forgiveness and mercy.

In faith, we recognise that everything we have is not our own – everything is given by God and belongs to Him. Therefore, we need to be accountable for how we use our God-given gifts. We are even called to offer up and multiply what He has blessed us with for the purpose of returning them to Him. To conclude, let us ask ourselves, and ponder on this basic question:

What will we do with the abundant blessings that God has given, is giving and will continue to give us in our lives?

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