Today is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty as designated by the United Nations, the Pope also encourages us to pray for the poor on this day. Who is the poor? We are all people living in poverty. Poverty not only refers to material poverty but also, spiritual and relational poverty. The latter is in relation to me as a person, do we accept our own self? We need to reflect ourselves amidst the current society, and the question is how much do we accept ourselves? Being affected by our family, the environment, the society etc., everything is in the process of change, if we do not allow ourselves to change, to “move on”, then we will have no progress, and we will be poor in spirit. The Pope mentioned: people in poverty are in the heart of the Church, we cannot abandon them. “Talents” referred to in today’s Gospel is the grace of God, and His love of mankind. In our own experience and space, we need to share the grace of God, that is, the love and care of others. The “lazy and useless servant” is the one who did not want to share his love with others. The suicidal rate of youths is recently terrifying, the reason being that people nowadays are too self-centred and ignore those around them. Jesus sent us out to take care of others, have concern for the needy ones, and serve the homeless and the poor. How do we bring Jesus to people around us in our assignments and carry out the apostolate, this is the story of “talents”. We cannot depart from Jesus in our assignments, Jesus’ love is always our back up and we need to bring His love to all brothers and sisters we come into contact with.
Fr. Francis Tam
19 November 2023