Ancient and sacred Christian tradition recalls that the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary dedicated her to the service of God when she was three years old. (We will celebrate this on November 21st, the Memorial of the Presentation of Mary.) In the temple, she joined other girls in prayer, reading the scriptures, and assisting the temple priests. Because Mary's holiness was very evident and her desire to serve so pure, the priest in charge of her believed that God had great plans for her.
God has great plans for all of us -- yes, even you! Because Jesus ascended into heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to earth, God now chooses to minister to the world through you and through all followers of Christ, first in our homes, then extending his love into our parishes and work-places and play-places.
Today's Gospel reading reminds us how very important it is to use, to the best of our ability for the benefit of his kingdom, every gift that God has given to us, every talent he created us to have, every bit of time we've got and every breath that we breathe, our financial resources, and every unique facet of our personalities. Are we truly offering all of our selves to Christ for the glory of God? What we don't use for God's purposes, we eventually lose -- maybe in the near future, but definitely when we die.
Ministry is nothing more and nothing less than putting to good use whatever we have gained from experiences, training, hardships, and blessings of the Lord. This means that we're doing ministry whenever we benefit others in any way.
We should never separate the activities of daily life from ministry. Even scrubbing the kitchen floor when offered to God as a gift for those who will walk on that floor, is a ministry. Oh, except when it's an excuse to avoid a more important mission. When we do "good" while hiding other talents that could be used for a greater good, we're no better than the wicked servant who stored the gold coin in a handkerchief.
God has invested in you. Now it's your turn. Invest what he's given to you, not with mediocrity but with full effort in a spirit of success. Watch how he multiplies the investment into great profit, great goodness, and great healing.
Where you've failed in the past to invest what God's given to you, look again at Jesus and see the hand that will gladly share from his abundance. He will give you another opportunity to use your gifts. And for the good you've already been doing, God is saying: "Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this small matter, so now I am going to do even more good through you."