Contemplating the End Zone? Act like You’ve Been There.

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We’re all born with gifts. How we use them testifies to our character. No need for boasting, as Mom always told us. That’s what we do when we feel our gifts are insufficient to make a good living.

No spiking the football!

That’s not a Biblical proverb, but it aptly describes how can-do wives and mothers behave—and what they advise their children. They don’t celebrate when accomplishing what their duties require (as immature football players do when they dance around the end zone upon making a touchdown). They live up to a job description dating back to the Old Testament:

Do work with loving hands.
Reach out to the poor and needy.
Be faithful to God and family.

The author of Proverbs 31, from which we take Sunday’s first reading (Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31), tells us that “her works praise her at the city gates.”

Good wives and mothers are great examples to people entering the job market, too—and to anyone hiring them. Do your job faithfully and don’t pad your resume for the next one. Braggarts eventually get found out and get dismissed as posers. The Godly women in our lives can also teach hiring managers in all businesses what to look for when filling any role requiring character and courage—or at least how to develop those gifts within the people under their supervision. That vision is vital to successful companies.

Take the visionary employer in Sunday’s gospel reading (Mt 25:14-30) who structured the job to his employees’ abilities.

He entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–to each according to his ability.

Only one of the three disappointed him—but not for not having the ability he saw in him. It was this cadet’s reluctance to apply his talent that made him a failure.

God created us as beings of light, with talents to help show each other the way to God’s heart. Like a good wife and mother does for her loved ones, good brothers and sisters watch out for each other. Paul, whose sins once blinded him, received the gift of vision on the road to Damascus. It overtook him like a thief, but through his letter to the Thessalonians (1 Thes 5:1-6), he tells us the Lord’s entry into our lives doesn’t have to be so dramatic. The road we travel has been well paved and lit by the pioneers of faith.

“You, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness, for that day to overtake you like a thief,” he writes. “For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.”

Children of faith are raised to live God’s job description for humanity. Living up to such great expectations is a celebration in itself. No need to spike the football before we even enter the end zone.

–Tom Andel


  1. Motherhood is perhaps the most undervalued vocation there is, at least in these times. Society now tries to convince that equality with men and productivity outside the home is where it’s at. This is of course ridiculous. Perhaps as man sees, but not as God does.

    In the vocation of becoming saints, there is no better guide and example as a holy mother, with the support of a strong husband and father. Prioritize and develop these talents, and the world is a much better place!

    • Motherhood may be undervalued because its most important work is done behind the scenes, when no one is looking. In an age that measures importance by the number of clicks you get online, God may be telling us that His Kingdom is found offline.

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