Posted by: livingscripture | November 19, 2017

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD

November 19, 2017

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

 

WORD of the DAY

“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…  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.’

  (Matthew 25: 14-15/24-25)

How shall I live this Word?

This Sunday we have the famous parable of the talents which Matthew inserts as the last eschatological discourse of his Gospel.  We are projected into the end times, when the Lord, after having distributed His goods to the servants for their wise administration, returns at the end of the world or at the end of life, to ask an account of how His immense gifts were used.  The talents are distributed, five to one, another two, and the last, one.  By receiving the one talent, the last servant was in no way at a disadvantage in respect to the other two.  At the time of Jesus, a talent had enormous value (about 50 pounds of gold).  As we can see, the distribution is personal and respectful of the capacities of each one.  There is no trace of homogeneity or of preference.  The master well knows the diverse abilities of his servants and fully respects their freedom.  It is clear that they are not the owners of what they received, but only the administrators.

Between the departure and the return of the Master, the first two servants immediately go to work to make the talents earn more and receive the due praise and recompense.  The third one, instead, dug a hole and hid the talent received and tells the reason for his gesture.  He was afraid of the severity and harshness of the Master.  This servant had a false concept of his Master (see verse 2).  With this legalistic concept of God, the law is observed only due to fear and scrupulosity, only what is prescribed and nothing more!  The servant does not want to run any risks, thinking he is fine if he simply returns what he has received.  He feels justified in restoring the debt.

I close with a question that the Lord asks you and me.  Am I tempted to hide my talents and my life in a hole in the ground in order to guard my tranquility, turned in on myself and on my interests? 

The Voice of St. Ambrose, Ancient Bishop of Milan 

You are the custodian of your goods, not their owner.  You who bury gold in the ground, are the administrator, not the owner. 

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