The obvious, over time, can escape our attention. We can be so ensconced in the daily activities of life that the simple truths of our existence seem to hide from our attention. In today’s second reading, St. Paul is reminding Timothy of one of those simple and obvious truths. The Spirit within him is a gift from God. Timothy did not develop it on his own or perform some act that caused him to earn it. No, it was a gift. No person, whether clergy or lay, serves God under his/her own power, but the gift that has been given is not to lie dormant—forgotten, overlooked or taken for granted. St. Paul’s opening words today are especially poignant. “Stir into flame the gift of God that you have… Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.” It’s worth remembering that the help of the Holy Spirit, given to us initially in Baptism and Confirmation, comes to us often through all the Sacraments.
In today’s first reading, God reminds the prophet Habakkuk that the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. It’s a reminder to each of us that God’s gifts are intended for us to know Him. They are for His purpose, not ours.
That same theme is reinforced by Jesus in today’s Gospel. We are servants. It takes Faith to see it and the more Faith we have the better we understand the depth of this simple truth, which can be easily forgotten, overlooked or allowed to elude our attention in the daily demands of living. I am not my own person. I did not create myself, design myself or choose for myself the talents, traits and gifts I have. K(no)w, everything I have and everything I am is God’s creation. What I do with what I have been given—whatever I accomplish that may be good—is my gift back to God. None of it is meant for myself. If I can approach life and all its duties with this holy attitude, then I am truly an unprofitable servant.