Dedicating one’s gifts and talents to the Lord

North Texas Catholic
(Apr 2, 2024) Local

Young Catholic Professionals Executive Speaker Series featured Fr. Brett Metzler on March 21, 2024, at St. Mary the Assumption Church in Fort Worth. (NTC/Matt Redden)

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FORT WORTH — In a raw and authentic talk addressed to a crowd of thirty young professionals, Father Brett Metzler discussed how to offer one’s gifts and talents to the Lord at St. Mary of the Assumption Church in Fort Worth on March 21 as part of the Young Catholic Professionals Fort Worth chapter’s executive speaker series.

The chaplain of the chapter stressed the importance of stepping away from a busy life so we may give back to God.

“Whatever skills I have acquired, whatever gifts I have been given, I place them at your service,” said Fr. Metzler, referencing St. Augustine. But there is a challenge in accepting this tenet as one’s telos or ultimate aim, he acknowledged.

“Doing God’s will is demanding, right? It requires a lot. I mean, Catholic marriage done right is harder than non-Catholic marriage. We’ve got more rules. It’s difficult. There are a lot of requirements for being Catholic and that’s on purpose,” he said.

However, that He requires so much is all in His providence so we may rely on Him more, Fr. Metzler affirmed.

Young Catholic professionals listen to Fr. Brett Metzler's talk on offering one's gifts and talents to God on March 21, 2024, at St. Mary the Assumption Church in Fort Worth as part of the YCP Chapter's Executive Speaker Series. (NTC/Matt Redden)

“If the foundation [of accepting His will] isn’t there, we’ll be overwhelmed,” he explained. “If it is there, however, and you’re grounded in the one thing necessary in your life, then as the Lord keeps giving you more and more, a portion of the cross that may have felt heavier and might have overwhelmed you, won’t be — because you’re tied to Him. And you know that His power is the one that’s getting you through that. It’s not on you to accomplish this responsibility; it’s on Him, through you.”

This is why our God-given gifts and talents help us further connect with God and perform His will.

“If you’re lazy, and you don’t pray, and you keep the wrong telos and do everything for the wrong reason, you’ll become a vicious person, and you’ll need to find help,” he warned. 

He drove home how easily one can fall into consternation and doubt should they miss establishing their telos, “the goal of just why we work,” by retelling the parable of Jesus visiting Martha and Mary.

Martha grew anxious as she worked hard to prepare for Jesus’s arrival, he described. Frustrated by the lack of assistance, she complained to Jesus about Mary, who had chosen not to help and instead sit at His feet, listening to His word.

“Jesus responds by saying, ‘Martha, you are worried about many things,’” Fr. Metzler recalled in his retelling of the parable. “‘Only one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

Just as Mary prioritized sitting at the feet of the Lord before all else, the faithful too must prioritize cultivating a relationship with God above all else. This is why coming to know Him, to be with Him, over prioritizing to serve Him through action is the first thing seminarians learn, Fr. Metzler shared.

“For us, who are Catholics, the one thing necessary is to sit at the feet of the Master. That has to be not just a side part of our life — it has to be a part of our life in such a way that we believe and live as if it is the one thing necessary. It also requires us not to do work for some part of our day,” Fr. Metzler said.

He advised the group of young professionals to commit to three actions: love God by making room for prayer; work hard, knowing that it is all part of His design; and keep perspective and embrace humility.

Fr. Brett Metzler blows out candles on his birthday cake after a Q&A session with the group following his talk about offering one's gifts and talents to God on March 21, 2024, at St. Mary the Assumption Church in Fort Worth as part of the YCP Chapter's Executive Speaker Series. (NTC/Matt Redden)

“Different types of situations will pop up, and it will feel like God’s not using your gifts and talents, but He’s just giving you opportunities for humility, for growth, and for holiness… As Saint Josemaria Escriva wrote, ‘Work! When you are engrossed in professional work, the life of your soul will improve, and you’ll become more of a man for you’ll get rid of that carping, lazy spirit that consumes you,’” he concluded.

Fr. Metzler then fielded questions on how to tell if one’s suffering is part of God’s will and design when feeling unsatisfied or overwhelmed in the workplace, even if your work is for a deserving cause.

“If you know what your gifts and talents are, and you feel called to use them somewhere else, and there’s no clear moral reason why you should stay, just go somewhere else… I mean, because at the end of the day, you are free to choose, right?” he responded. “There are certain things you cannot leave, of course. You can’t leave your spouse; you can’t leave your vocation … , but I think as you work, as you try to pursue God’s will and all these things in doing the work, you can discover gifts and talents, and once you do, if you see other opportunities that can help you, help your family, it’s for a good reason.”

After the Q&A, YCP president Gabbie Bernhard presented Fr. Metzler with a cake and led the crowd to sing him a belated happy birthday. She then introduced the community tables present at the event, which featured guests from the Emerging Leaders Council at Cristo Rey Preparatory School in Fort Worth, the founder of Catholic Intentional Serendipitious Matchmaking, as well as Matthew Redden with Vitae Photography.

Attendee Henry Malinowski, an engineer and St. Jude of Mansfield parishioner, mentioned how he’d found Fr. Metzler’s talk thought-provoking and interesting.

“Something I think is worth mentioning is that the reason we call people’s natural, gifted, and inborn skills 'talents' in English is because of the Parable of the Talents… People so quickly associated what the parable was about with the skills that people are given in life,” he added.

Father Brett Metzler, YCP Fort Worth, Young Catholic Professionals, Gifts and Talents, Telos, trending-english