By Msgr. William Carr
Acts 9:26-31; I John 3:18-24; and John 15:1-8
The Church should be a community of faith and love. The community should make use of all the talents and abilities of its members. But often converts find it otherwise.
Converts may have great abilities which are never used. They can easily become discouraged because they can’t seem to “break in” to the community. Perhaps Sunday’s Mass might be a lesson in maturity for us all.
St. Paul was highly educated; he was zealous; he had tremendous abilities. Yet, after his conversion, the Church was suspicious of him. The community wondered if he really was converted, or was he a spy?
The apostles sent him off to Tarsus where he remained in seclusion for more than 10 years! What a waste of talent. But all that time, Paul was building up the church by his prayer and virtue, even though he could not build it up by his external witness.
The second reading tells us to love in deed and not merely in word. We often talk a good game of community and stewardship. But our faith is shown by what we do.
If our talents are not used immediately, let us still please God in every way we can. We know that we are keeping his commandments by our peace of soul.
Jesus is the vine; we are his branches. All grace and virtue comes from him. Regardless of any other “branch” on the Christ vine, let us remain united with him. Let us seek to reflect his glory in all we do. He promises that whatever we ask in his name, he will do. Let us place our gifts and talents at his service.