Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
A capable wife who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good, and not harm,
all the days of her life.
She seeks wool and flax,
and works with willing hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her hands hold the spindle.
She opens her hand to the poor,
and reaches out her hands to the needy.
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her a share in the fruit of her hands,
and let her works praise her in the city gates.
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways.
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion.
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When they say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them, as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and there will be no escape! But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober;
“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
As the Archdiocese of Detroit celebrates the beatification of Fr. Solanus Casey, we have been learning the details of this holy man’s life. Just as ‘the capable wife’ who represents the Church, Fr. Solanus stretched out his hands to the poor and needy, and his works bore much fruit.
We might say that Fr. Solanus was a servant who was given few talents, like the servant in the Gospel. Though he was ordained a priest, because of some limitations in his studies, was not given the freedom to preach or to hear confessions. A humble man, and faithful to prayer, Fr. Solanus knew that the love of God was great enough to have mercy and compassion on all who came to him. He never denied anyone a chance to meet with him for prayer and the miracles that are attributed to him are in the hundreds. Many people around Detroit will tell you stories of how the intercession of Fr. Solanus Casey brought miracle healing to them or to a loved one.
Through his simple devotion to prayer and ministering to the sick, the poor and the hungry, Fr. Solanus’ faith was like an unending font of mercy giving glory to God. He said that whatever we ask, we should begin thanking God even before we receive it. The prayer of thanks is our grateful response in Him trusting that His love is greater than even our own imaginations and desires. With such a simple formula, we too can have confidence that fidelity to prayer and serving God can make us saints in heaven as well.
Our relationship with God is the important thing. As the good wife who is industrious and invests herself doing good, we can work faithfully with what we have and be thankful to God for whatever He gives us. Just as with the good wife, God loves his willing servants and shows His appreciation, giving us a share in the fruits.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of Blessed Solanus Casey and all the saints whose lives of service reveal your great and powerful love for your creation. Through the intercession of Fr. Solanus Casey, may I receive the grace of greater conversion of heart, to be faithful to prayer, to be grateful for everything I have been given, and to use my abilities to invest myself whole-heartedly in doing your Will. Amen.