When I was at seminary there were different interpretations of what was required. One would say have you done your best? If so there is nothing more to say. Another would be your best is not good enough…you ought to give more. How much more than your best can you give?
The parable of the “Talents” can be an illustration of how thinking you are doing your best is not always the best option! The man who dug a hole in the ground and gave the money back as he found it, thought he was doing the best he could do, but he could have done more. We can find ourselves saying that coming to church each week, is doing our best, but is it? Coming along but not taking part, coming along, leaving early, coming along but having no contact with the parish for the remaining days of the week, until the next weekend is that giving our best? Before we came to Mass did we prepare by reading the scripture, did we pray for the grace to respond to our Lord’s calling to engage our faith in each and every day, not just for one day of the week? Have we shown a good example and encouraged others to come to faith in Jesus?
If you have done your best then there is nothing more to be said. Yet when it comes to faith we can always do a little bit more.
The most harrowing pictures I find are those of children who are hungry, images of poverty in the world can break the heart. Poverty blights the world and yet it is a reality. Recently there was a crash in the desert of a vehicle that was due to take people into space, as space tourists, each person pays over £100,000 for a ticket…it seems obscene when there are people hungry and through no fault of their own, starving and dying in poverty. The priorities of the world are upside down, and it is said that Christianity is out of touch with the world, good thing I would say, if that is the rational for the world! The Church is called to proclaim Christ to the world, to bring light where there is darkness. It is a hard task, one that leads to being hated at times, misunderstood at other times, and rejected too. It is not easy to do. The parable warns about how hard it is. Burying our faith in the ground and not using it to the full, is not what Jesus wants of us. He asks more.
The first reading speaks of the wisdom required to be doing our best, wisdom reaches out to the poor, a helping hand for the needy. The second readings speaks about the task a Christian has to proclaim Christ to the world, an urgent task one that needs us to be alert, a task that is done best when we are giving of ourselves.