11/19/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: Matthew 25:14-30
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
14 “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
15 To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately
16 the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five.
17 Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
18 But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.
19 After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
20 The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’
21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’
22 Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’
23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’
24 Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter;
25 so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’
26 His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter?
27 Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
28 Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
29 For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
30 And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”
11/19/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection / homily / sermon: Matthew 25:14-30
The parable of the talent is a powerful story about stewardship and accountability. It highlights the fact that we are given talents and opportunities which we are to use to the fullest. This is stewardship, a recognition that God has given to us talents, skills, opportunities, time and treasures, meaning we do not actually own these things. They are entrusted to us and we have the responsibility to manage them for our own growth, for the betterment of this world and for the glory of God. In other words, we are called to not only preserve these talents but also to proactively use and enhance them to their full potential.
On the other hand, accountability is willingness to accept responsibility and the obligation to take care of our given resources and use them according to their purpose. It means we become answerable to whatever happens to them. In other words, it focuses on the outcome or consequence of our actions and decisions.
Looking back at the gospel passage, the master praised the first and second servant as good and faithful. On the other hand, he called the third servant lazy, wicked and useless. Notice that the third servant did not commit any obvious crime, did he? He was only fearful but because he lack the initiative to use his given talent for something profitable, he was thrown out into the darkness. There is indeed such a sin called omission. We may not have broken any law but our inaction and neglect may lead us away from the Light.
The gospel reading is calling us to be faithful servants of God. He has given to each one of us a mission to build up His Kingdom and at the same time, He has entrusted to us all the means we need to fulfill our mission. In other parts of the gospel, we are called to bear fruit or else, we are useless like a dried branch of a tree, ready to be cut down and thrown into the fire for burning (John 15:6). Our fruit is the result of being proactive in the use of our talents for the greater glory of God.