Gospel Reflection Nov 19 – Deacon Chris

By November 17, 2017Gospel Reflections

Sunday, November 19

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 25: 14-30

Gospel:
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
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.’
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.’
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.’
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.’
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;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
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?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
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.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

Reflection:

If it we look at this parable in the larger context, we see the themes of good and bad servants, final division, reward and punishment, and the return of the master after delay. This parable focuses on the time we have here on earth. We do not know when the Lord will return. Our lives could end at any time or Christ could return for the final judgment at any moment. Matthew explains in this gospel what he means by being watchful or ready during this “in between time”.

We hope and desire that heaven will be our final resting place with the Lord. Consequently, our actions must be faithful to God’s instructions. This means we are to use all the abilities that God has entrusted to us in order to fill our time here on earth with deeds of love. Additionally, this parable specifically highlights the qualities of courage and fidelity. Being industrious and courageous with the gifts God has given us, allows us to give back to Him. Fidelity in small things leads to a much greater reward and intimate friendship with the Lord. Our faithful and whole-hearted commitment to the Lord through our actions will not go unseen.

Conversely, inactivity is condemned in this parable. It is clear that the demanding nature of the master and a fear of failure are unacceptable reasons for refusing to make an effort. Each of us can fail to meet Christ’s moral demands when we sin or through a lack of insight. Or, as in the case here, sheer inactivity and laziness are unfaithfulness to the Master. This parable emphasizes the essential aspect of the interaction between God’s free gift and our response. The disciple who “gives himself” fully to the gift God has given him will receive even a great reward. We are called to action within our spiritual lives or else we risk losing what we have. Let us ask God for the grace and strength to be courageous with the gifts he has given us, so that we may be good and faithful servants and enter into the joy of His kingdom when He comes to meet us again.

Deacon Chris Tuttle