Cycle A 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 Prov. 31:10-13, 16-18, 20, 26, 28-31; 1 Thess. 5:1-6; Mt. 25:14-30

The First Reading from the Book of Proverbs [Prov. 31:10-13, 16-18, 20, 26, 28-31] spoke of a very productive wife that bears fruit in all things. She never sits idle, using every opportunity presented to her to increase the family wealth. Because of her qualities, she is far more precious than jewels.

This capable wife is trustworthy. The husband can count on her to be faithful and productive for the betterment of the home. She is not afraid to learn how to sew and make clothing for the members of the family in order to save money.

From the money that she managed to save, she invests in land. There, she plants a garden in hope of selling the fruits of the seeds that she plants. Not counting the hours that come and go, night and day, she works long hours.

While tending to the worldly needs of the family, she also tends to her spiritual needs and the needs of others. She gives generously to those in need. To those seeking comfort, she speaks gentle words, only wisdom coming from her mouth. She is never idle, having no time for foolishness and gossip.

Her children, well raised in values and the ways of the Lord, show appreciation, thanking her and praising her for being such a happy and wonderful mother. Even her husband recognizes the treasure that he has in his possession, the best of the best.

From each of the characters in this reading, there is something for us to learn. In a way, this wonderful woman is a picture of what we should be, always being fruitful in our ways. The children and the husband are also pictures to us, telling us that we should be thankful to the Lord for all that He has provided for us, praising Him in all things. As the woman is more precious than jewels in the eyes of her family, we are called to be more precious than jewels in the eyes of the Lord.

Today’s Gospel speaks about the timeless wisdom found in the Parable of the Talents, a powerful narrative that challenges us to reflect on how we are stewarding the unique gifts and abilities God has given each one of us.

Let me share the inspiring story of Arunima Sinha, an Indian mountain climber who overcame tremendous odds to achieve remarkable success.

Arunima was a national-level volleyball player in India when tragedy struck. In 2011, while traveling by train, she was attacked by a group of robbers who pushed her out of a moving train. As a result of the incident, Arunima's left leg had to be amputated below the knee.

Instead of succumbing to despair, Arunima decided to turn her life around. She set an audacious goal for herself - to become the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest, the world's highest peak.

The journey to the summit of Everest is grueling for even the most experienced climbers, and Arunima faced additional challenges due to her prosthetic leg. Undeterred, she began her training. She faced skepticism from many who doubted her ability to conquer such a formidable challenge. However, Arunima's determination proved stronger than any doubts.

In 2013, Arunima Sinha successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest, creating history and showcasing the incredible power of the human spirit. Her achievement not only shattered stereotypes but also became a symbol of resilience and determination for people facing adversity around the world.

Arunima didn't stop there. She went on to climb other prominent peaks, further proving that limitations are often only as restrictive as we allow them to be. Her story serves as a testament to the idea that with unwavering determination and a positive mindset, one can overcome even the most formidable challenges to achieve greatness.

Arunima Sinha's remarkable journey from tragedy to triumph is an inspiration to us all, reminding us that the human spirit is indomitable and that within every challenge lies the potential for extraordinary growth and achievement

Each one of us is bestowed with something truly special, something that makes us unique in this vast tapestry of humanity. It is our responsibility, our journey, to identify and embrace this extraordinary gift.

Our unique gifts are not limited to grand gestures or extraordinary talents. They manifest in the small, everyday moments. Consider the friend who always knows how to make you smile, the colleague who effortlessly diffuses tension with humor, or the family member with a knack for turning ordinary gatherings into cherished memories.

Let us embrace the truth that within each of us lies something extraordinary. It may be a skill, a passion, or a way of connecting with others. Our journey is to uncover these gifts, nurture them, and let them shine.

There are many gifts that lie dormant within us, the untapped well of abilities waiting to be discovered and developed. In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we often overlook the reservoir of potential that resides within each one of us.

Consider the artist who never picks up a brush, the musician who never plays a note, or the entrepreneur who never takes the first step. How many brilliant ideas go unexplored, how many masterpieces remain unpainted, and how many innovative solutions to the world's problems lie dormant within our collective consciousness?

It is a profound tragedy that we, as individuals and as a society, may leave these gifts undiscovered and undeveloped. The reasons are myriad – fear of failure, societal expectations, or simply the inertia of routine. Yet, in the untapped potential within each of us, there lies a source of innovation, creativity, and fulfillment that has the power to transform not only our lives but the world around us.

Consider the story of the acorn. In its small, unassuming form, it contains the potential to become a mighty oak tree. But if the acorn is never planted, nurtured, and allowed to grow, its potential remains forever unrealized. Similarly, our latent abilities, if left unexplored, become like dormant seeds waiting for the fertile ground of our efforts to bring them to life.

The journey of self-discovery is not always easy. It requires courage to step outside the familiar, to challenge ourselves, and to confront the unknown. The gifts within us are not meant to be kept hidden; they are meant to be shared with the world, adding unique threads to the rich fabric of human experience.