Sunday, November 16, 2014

Looking Ahead

Father Perry D. Leiker
By Father Perry D. Leiker

When we give to the poor, do we give so that we will receive thanks? Do we give because we believe that reaching out in love and compassion is a right or good thing to do? Where is the reward?

Is it in "getting something" from the person or aligning our actions and our cares of the heart with something we believe?

Today’s Gospel speaks of multiplying one’s talents or burying them out of fear. Using and giving our talents to others, using and giving our energy and time to others, using and sharing our money with others, all of these are ways of multiplying.

Burying any of these out of fear freezes, paralyzes, stagnates, lessens, destroys even the hope that something more might come about by the use of or sharing of our talents, our energy or time, our money.

To put it in Gospel terms: “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what little he has will be taken away.”

Giving/sharing talents, time, energy, money IS the gift given and received. Giving/sharing is in itself the reward. This is the great secret revealed by Jesus. This is the key given to open the doors of inner peace and happiness. Jesus understood this. Jesus taught this. Jesus gives this as gift.

Every once in awhile, people will say: “Father, after I have given so much money to the church, or so many hours of service, doesn’t the church owe me something in return. Surely, the church should make an exception for me.”

It is an interesting comment. When we give to the church of our talent, our energy or time, or our money, we need to ask ourselves why we give? Is it to give thanks to God for all he has given? Is it so we can be paid back in special favors? Is it to be recognized? Or is it because we have discovered that Jesus’ words are absolutely true? It is because we hear the echo of Jesus’ words in our heart: “Come share your master’s joy.”

Father Perry D. Leiker is pastor of St. Bernard Church. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112, or email

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