Faith is a gift from God. How we respond to it is a measure of our relationship with God and illustrates the quality of the relationship. In a recent gospel from Luke, Jesus tells his disciples, “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.” (Lk 12:48) I don’t know about you, but that sounds like responsibility to me.
Looking at the surface of that teaching, the literal translation would be that the more we have the more we need to share with others. In our material-obsessed culture, that’s as far as many people go in trying to understand it. But we are more than just possessions. We also have the gifts of time and talent to share. With how much technology we have, there should be loads of free time, right? Yet everyone seems to be “so busy.” But what are we “so busy” doing? Remember the story of Martha and Mary? Martha was upset that she was “so busy” and demanded that Jesus tell her sister Mary to help her.
When we start to apply the idea of time to the passage, it starts to take on a different dimension. Time is finite. We only have 24 hours in a day. Even if we use all the time wisely, it may feel that God demands more from us. Perhaps we need to look not at quantity, but the quality of our time. Sure, we can carve out the time for saying morning and evening prayers, attending daily Mass, praying numerous rosaries and chaplets, and volunteering in charitable organizations, but are we learning anything more about God in these activities? Or are we just reciting words to Him or fulfilling an obligation?
God calls us to go deeper. Thankfully, He does not ask us to perform 200 ft high-dives into the deep end of the faith pool. Rather He allows us to get comfortable in the shallow end, with those beginning replies of faith, like morning and evening prayer or saying a daily rosary or chaplet. The more we begin to open up and trust Him, the more we will be carried on the waves of His grace.
Included in the definition of responsibility is trust as well as to be responsible which is defined as being called on to answer, or being accountable. Responsibility, responsible and respond all share a common origin from Latin meaning “reply.” Our reply to God needs to be one of trust. As we trust in God with our time, talents, and treasures, we reply or return back to Him what He has given us in blessing. When more of it is demanded, it will be because God is blessing us with more. As He gives freely to us, so we learn to be like Him, giving freely of ourselves.