Reflection for 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time
In today’s gospel story, the parable of the talents, we hear about three servants. 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. We see that the master understood the abilities of each of his servants. The “talent” is not the ability to do something, but reflective of a large amount of money. The instruction to each of the servants was clear – make a profit with the money.
As in all parables that Jesus taught, we look for the deeper meaning behind the story. We ask ourselves …who does the wealthy man represent? What is the journey that he went on? Who do the servants represent? What is the significance of the “talents”? Jesus is the master who went on a journey. Jesus has ascended to heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. We know that Jesus will return at the end of time… however, no one knows when… The talents in today’s gospel represent the gifts from God that each of us receives. Jesus will judge us based on our ability to love putting our gifts at the service of others.
Two of the three servants turned a profit with the money given by the master. They respected their master and served him well. They used what was entrusted to them not for selfish use, but followed the master’s instructions. How does the master respond? 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.
The gifts of God given to us do not multiply when kept to oneself…”buried in the ground”. 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.”
As for us… St Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians: For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night…We are not of the night or of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.
What are we to do? The self-sacrificing love of the wife in today’s first reading from the Book of Proverbs provides us with guidance. She reaches out her hands to the poor, and extends her arms to the needy.
May God bless us all always!