GABRIEL'S CLARION (apr2gab.htm)
EASTER SATURDAY
April 2, 2005
vol 16, no. 92
God's Stock Market

    By using one's talents for the greater honor and glory of God one is paying dividends into his Heavenly account. With such a sure investment, he'd be foolish to turn that into junk bonds and take the chance that the opening round bell could either be muted or the death-knell of a soul overwhelm him and crush him.

      "When God asks for an accounting of what good we have done with what He has given us, He will have certain expectations from each of us based on what we were given and the opportunities we had to do something good with those gifts. It will be useless to show Him that we have turned those talents into mere material gains or popularity points or votes or promotions. It will be useless to explain to Him that we were public servants more concerned with not offending men than with not offending God. It will be useless to justify our inaction through fear, mistrust, or laziness. In the end, it will be useless to follow The New Order's philosophy because that plan is merely a path and purpose leading to perdition."

    It has often been quoted that nearly half of Christ's parables deal with money and money and possession are mentioned at least four times more often than faith or prayer in the Bible. Only a fool would conclude that this disproportionate relationship implies that money and possessions are more important or critical to salvation than prayer and faith. On the other hand, it can be argued that prayer and faith are so important and obvious that less is needed to be said in their regard than with regard to material possessions. Likewise, we must remember that Christ often represents the spiritual and eternal in terms of the temporal and temporary, so many of this reference to money and goods may really be references to the currency of Heaven. Two parables in particular stand out in pointing out that representation. These are The Parable of The Foolish Steward and Parable of The Ten Talents . Beyond their own messages, however, we find a connection to the distortions of The New World Order as well.

Two Parables...One Theme

    In The Parable of The Foolish Steward from Luke 16, we find a dishonest manager reducing his master's debts upon learning that he was to be fired. Rather than seeing this as further wrongdoing, the master recognizes the shrewdness and advance planning of the manager's actions. The master realizes that such a move can only result from a realization of one's past and an anticipation of one's future. Furthermore, despite his faults, it cannot be said that the dishonest manager did not act proactively to remedy his situation rather than reactively to simply curse it. This parable reminds us that God has given us gifts and talents for which we are accountable and from which He expects much from us. I must use the opportunities, gifts, and talents God has given me to fulfill the mission that He has in store for me. God trusts me but I must earn that trust now in order for greater trust to be justified in the future. The way that I earn that greater trust is by making sure that I am fulfilling my mission and purpose on this earth and serving Him in all ways and at all times.

    In The Parable of The Ten Talents from Matthew 25, we find that a master gives three servants 5, 2, and 1 talent and later returns to see what they have each done with their gift and his investment and trust in them. We can assume that the master trusted each servant in proportion to the amount given to each of them, yet he still expected even the servant given one talent to do something with what was given him so perhaps one day more would be justified. We see that the first two did indeed double the master's investment in them, but the third merely hid what was given to him out of fear and mistrust of his master. Consequently, those first two were rewarded for using their gifts wisely and increasing the master's investment while the third was punished for failing to do anything with what was given him. This third servant may have foolishly thought that by not risking anything he was at least maintaining the status quo and staying put ( no loss no gain), but he was wrong. By not risking and believing in what he had, this third servant actually fell in arrears with his master, for he fell back one step by never spreading his gift to the world around him and instead hiding it.

    In combining these two parables we see that God never gives us gifts and talents merely for the sake of giving us something. He expects and demands that we use those gifts and talents wisely and efficiently. If we use those things for evil, we are obviously misusing what God has given us and we will pay the ultimate price for that misuse and betrayal of His trust. If we plan ahead, anticipate, and work proactively to make good things happen from what God has given us, then we will be fulfilling our mission and rewarding God's trust and investment in us thereby receiving the ultimate reward of eternal salvation. We cannot just sit back and react to what God has given us. We must act to turn those gifts, that potential, into the realization of God's expectations for us. In that sense we are created in His image and likeness, for we are meant to do good as God always does. In that sense as well we are created equally, for despite what has been given us we all have great potential to make a positive difference in this world, and it is not unusual that those given less will turn out to make the same or more than those to whom more was given and expected.

Free Will and Potential

    Even though God Almighty gives us great potential, we are free to hide, misuse, or abuse that potential to our downfall. If we neglect to use those gifts to serve God and others, if we instead use them only for ourselves or if we use them for evil, we will be accountable to God at the end of the day. God demonstrates His trust in us by providing us with this free will, for you can only give freedom to someone whom you trust to some degree. We demonstrate our commitment, dedication, and trust in God by not abusing or misusing that trust. It is only in that way that we can fully reach our mission and purpose as intended by God.

The Interference of the New Order

    The New Order tells us to trust only ourselves and focus only on what we want and expect from ourselves. It questions why we should even be concerned what some God intends or wants from us. It tells us that we should be accountable only to ourselves and our interpretations of the moral market around us. It encourages us not to plan ahead or anticipate our future spiritual needs but only to live in the temporal and immediate needs we may have. Lastly, it creates moral paralysis based on fear and mistrust. When we worry about popularity or social acceptance we tend to hide our talents and gifts or at least distort them to what society thinks they should be or how we should use them.

    Since society obviously puts God at a very low level or even ignores Him, it will often mock or ridicule the use of any gift or talent in His service. The problem is that, ultimately, if we are not using our talents and gifts for God, we are using them for the devil! Since those talents and gifts are God's investment in our ability to do good, and since they are inherently good because they come from an inherently good God, then any use of those talents and gifts for anything other than the service and honor of God is a misuse, an abuse, and a corruption of those talents and gifts.

    When God asks for an accounting of what good we have done with what He has given us, He will have certain expectations from each of us based on what we were given and the opportunities we had to do something good with those gifts. It will be useless to show Him that we have turned those talents into mere material gains or popularity points or votes or promotions. It will be useless to explain to Him that we were public servants more concerned with not offending men than with not offending God. It will be useless to justify our inaction through fear, mistrust, or laziness. In the end, it will be useless to follow The New Order's philosophy because that plan is merely a path and purpose leading to perdition.

Conclusion

    We must each ask ourselves what we have done with what God has given us. We each started out with profound, inherent potential for good. Each of us has been given the tools to serve God and follow in Christ's footsteps toward spreading His message, saving souls, and realizing our own salvation as well. We have all seen the famous Footsteps poem wherein one who believed that a single set of footsteps in the sand meant that Christ has abandoned him. Christ informs that person that the single steps meant that He was instead carrying him.

    I would like to propose a different interpretation of those single footsteps in the sand. They represent the individual paths and potential toward our life purpose and mission that each of us has been given by God. He has provided each of us with the tools to follow those steps and to reach that potential if only we follow His Word and Christ's example and serve Him at all times. How far we stray from that path, from Christ's footsteps before us, will determine our chances for salvation and the ultimate fulfillment of our life purpose.

    The New Order will tell us that this single set of footsteps means that we have to make our own destiny. Those who foolishly claim that all will be saved may argue that Christ will merely carry us all to our just reward. I suggest that those footsteps are the pieces of bread that Christ has laid down for us to guide us through the desert of this life. Those pieces of bread came from the table of The Last Supper and Christ laid those pieces when He lay down on the cross and laid down His life for us. Now it is up to each of us to turn God Almighty's eternal investment in each of us into a positive reality.

Gabriel Garnica


    Editor's Note: Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, submits regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes are music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.


    Gabriel's Clarion
    April 2, 2005
    Volume 16, no. 92