We are two weeks away from Advent
and traditionally the readings at the end of the liturgical year are more challenging.
They often speak of the “last things”
They speak of our responsibilities and what it takes to get into heaven.
They speak of judgment and salvation.
In the Gospel today there are three servants
two are rewarded (They are invited to share their Master’s joy)
The other is not.
Rather, he is thrown into the darkness to wail and grind his teeth..
(That doesn’t sound too good)
Here are some thoughts from some commentaries I read.
A talent was a huge amount of money.
It was equal to 6000 Denarii
a denarii was equal 1 day’s wage.
So a talent is roughly 15 years of wages…
Even the person who was given one talent received an abundance from God
The man given 5 talents was entrusted with a life time of resources
Everyone in the parable received abundantly from God
There were no servants who received nothing.
The fact that the servants did not all receive the same amount
Does not mean that God loved some more…
Everyone received all that they needed
And they were expected to do the best they could with what they had
St. Theresa of Avila used to say… imagine that all of us are glasses, different size glasses,
Some are big some are small. But all are full
full of God’s love.
We are all full of God's love
Because we are all given different gifts
We are not in competition with each other rather
We are in competition with only with ourselves.
The servants were given opportunity.
They were not told what to do with the talent.
but the master clearly expected some kind of return on his investment.
And they were free to do as they pleased
They were free…
I found it interesting that the Master was away a long time
He gave the servants a long time, a life time,
to use the talents they were given.
He didn’t expect instant results.
The Gospel teaches us that our work is never completed…
Those who were successful in using their talents were not told come and rest but rather…
you succeeded with little now you will be given more
The Greek words used in the passage for “gained or earned” were often used in a religious context to mean winning converts or bringing people to faith
The faithful stewards who were rewarded brought other people to faith.
The man who buried his talent did not.
There are lots of things which we can apply to our own lives.
So often people think they have nothing to offer.
So often they are burdened with the fear that they have no gifts
I can’t talk to people
I’m not smart
I’m not handsome or pretty
I’m not this I’m not that
All of us need to put that out of our minds..
That only happens when we compare ourselves to others
All of us have gifts from God
And one of the greatest tragedies is to fail to recognize that.
Even though we all have received differently
We have all been given all that we need
If God loves us God would not create us to fail
We all have the time we need to develop them and share them
The master is gone a long time.
We will not all live the same amount of time
But all of us will have the time we need to give back
The greatest danger here is to grow complacent
The greatest danger here it to put off to tomorrow what we could and should do today.
We must be living our quest for holiness NOW not later…
Our gifts are not just for us
They are not
Our gifts are meant to be shared with others…
We are expected to earn a return on our Master’s gifts.
How many people will be better because they knew us
How many people will be better because we shared our talents with them
How many souls will we bring faith
What will our return be on God’s gifts.
Our work is never done there is never a time when we can sit back and rest.
The servants who were good and faithful were not called home to rest
They were given more talents to do more things for God
At the end of our parable at the end of our story will we be invited to share our Master’s Joy
Or will be thrown out into the darkness?
It all depends how we use our talents…
A very important question indeed.