Luke 19:11-28 Reflection: Parable of the Talents

A reading from the gospel according to Luke 19:11-28

11 While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately.
12 So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
13 He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
14 His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
15 But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading.
16 The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’
17 He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’
18 Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’
19 And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’
20 Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’
22 He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant;
23 why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’
24 And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’
25 But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’
26 He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
27 Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’”
28 After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.

Reflection: Rewards and Punishment

1. We are all given talents in different fields and in varying degrees of importance yet it is not how important our talent is that matters. God is more concerned with how we use our talent for the glory of His name. Those who use their talent to the fullest to serve God and His children particularly the needy will receive their just reward. On the other hand, those who neglect to hone their skills or worse, those who use their talents for personal gain will eventually face the consequences of their action.

2. When we don’t make use of our God-given talents and learned skills, they will be forgotten and be lost forever. In addition, we will have difficulties in getting them back.

3. Taking risk is part of growing, whether in practical matters like business or in our spiritual life. Those who are afraid to journey in unknown places will surely miss the joy and lessons of a great adventure. Moving out of our comfort zone in order to sere others will entail courage and the risk of opposition from jealous people.

4. Indeed some people are full of jealousy. In the gospel reading above, some “fellow citizens” did not like the noble man to become king. There is no valid reason given for their opposition so we can safely assume that they are just envious of the wealth and achievements of the nobleman and at the same time insecure of themselves.

5. The journey of Jesus to Jerusalem in the gospel of Luke is a way of saying that everything Jesus was doing is a preparation for His ultimate mission of redeeming the world through His death and resurrection. This is a lesson for us to focus our attention to our own mission on earth, that is, to know God and to serve Him and our fellowmen. In the end, we will receive the reward of eternal life.

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Gospel Reading and Reflection
Gospel Reading and Reflection

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