Talents - Our Treasure
By Fr. Jim Katinas and Sonia Daly
To have the participants realize that their talents are a great God-given treasure which they must "use or lose."
Lord, you who have given us this occasion to pray together, and have promised that when two or three are gathered in your name, you will grant their requests; answer, Lord, our prayers for our benefit, granting us in this world the knowledge of your truth and in the world to come live everlasting. Amen.
Pose the following questions to the group. Go around and allow each participant to answer the question.
Are you the type of person who spends your money, or do you put it the bank? Why?
Ask a volunteer to read parts of the April 26, 2002 Boston Globe article describing the $4.6 million unclaimed lottery prize.
A Year Later, Unclaimed Prize In Lottery Is Returned To State
By: Steven Wilmsen
The money was set aside. A reception had been prepared. Even a check was written – one of those giant cardboard ones made out for handing over in front of TV cameras.
Trouble is, there was no one to receive it. Somebody, - no one knows who – bought a Megabucks lottery ticket one year ago at a lonely highway pit stop near the Rhode Island border and never claimed the $4.6 million dollar prize. At 5 p.m. yesterday, after a frantic last-minute search by state lottery officials that included everything “short of running naked through the streets,” the deadline for redeeming the ticket expired, said the state Treasurer Shannon O’Brien.
Now the ticket, wherever it may be, is worthless.
With no one to take home the biggest unclaimed lottery jackpot in Massachusetts history, it will be placed in a state unclaimed funds account, and at least $2 million of it will go as a bonus to cities and towns that get state lottery funds, O’Brien said.
The prospect of $4.6 million lying around in the form of a long-forgotten lottery ticket sparked desperate searches through purses and under sofa cushions. Some superstitious lottery players attempting to glean the mysterious winner’s unused luck flocked to Gasbarro’s Peerless Liquors in Swansca to buy tickets from the same store the winning bet – 17-25-28-30-34-42 – was played. And it has triggered an endless stream of speculation about who the man or woman is, and about how anyone could have been so careless.
“Whoever it was, they’re going to be kicking themselves in the butt if they find it tomorrow,” said Analia Pacheco, manager at Gasbarro’s who spent the past several weeks searching her car, sweeping out closets, and unpacking boxes where old lottery tickets might be.
Every year, some $11 million in lottery winnings goes unclaimed, but most of that are $1 and $5 stakes, lottery officials said. Until now, the largest Megabucks jackpot that went unclaimed was $1.7 million in 1987. Lottery officials knew a year ago they had a mystery on their hands. But it wasn’t until recently that officials decided to make an effort to find the winner.
In a fit of optimism, a lottery publicist, Shannon Cadres, made up an oversized check, mounted it on foam board, and entered the amount $4,594,987, leaving a blank space for the payee’s name.
“We kept waiting and thinking somebody might walk through the door at the last minute, but it just didn’t happen, “ Cadres said yesterday as the deadline passed. “I guess I’ll have to take my big check and call it a day.”
Handout the Mathew copy of Matthew 25:14-30. Have participants read it to themselves (see end of session for text of passage).
State/Wrap Up (paraphrase in your own words)
What we have seen through this exercise is that God calls everyone to His Kingdom and that everyone, whether they believe it or not is given a talent, hence everyone "wins the lottery." However, it is not enough just to “win,” one must use his or her talent to the glory of God and His Church. Only then is the talent given value. If one were to fail to invest effort into the talent, it would lie unclaimed just as the lottery check, and like the fate of the third servant, it would be taken away.
(Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow)
Lord, I know not what to ask of You.
Matthew 25:14-30 (RSV)
"For it will be as when a man going on a journey
called his servants and entrusted to them his property;