33rd SUNDAY OF ORDINARY TIME
This week in our parish we remembered all those who had passed on during in our annual Mass for those who died during the year and we prayed with and for their families and friends. We pray for all the dead during November and we remember in a special way all those who have no one to pray for or remember them. We also remember all the members of our own families who have died that all of them our friends relatives and all those we don’t know at all will rest in the peace of the love of god.
Our reading from the Gospel for this weekend is about the servant and his one talent. The parable speaks first of the Master’s trust in his servants. While he goes away he leaves them with his money to use as they think best. While there were no strings attached, this was obviously a test to see if the Master’s workers would be industrious and reliable in their use of the money entrusted to them. The master rewards those who are industrious and faithful and he punishes those who sit idly by and who do nothing with his money. The essence of the parable seems to lie in the servants’ conception of responsibility. Each servant entrusted with the master’s money was faithful up to a certain point.
The servant who buried the master’s money was irresponsible. One can bury seeds in the ground and expect them to become productive because they obey natural laws. Coins, however, do not obey natural laws. They obey economic laws and become productive in circulation. The master expected his servants to be productive in the use of his money. If we stop and substitute the money aspect of the parable with the word faith then we get to what the parable is really about and it tells us that faith is a real and wonderful gift from God that should be treasured. Faith is also given to us according to our ability to deal with it; each in proportion to his ability, as it says in the parable. But the most important aspect of the Parable is that the Master will eventually return and the big question is will we be ready for his return? Paul assures us, ” The day of the Lord will come like a thief at night.” This is a wake-up call to alert us to stop relying on false security, while missing the ways that Jesus comes into our lives and they are many. Sometimes we feel God’s blessing. Sometimes we feel he is away out there in the distance. There are even times God may feel like the enemy. We enjoy times of intimacy as graced moments. But in all the moments of our lives we should try to realize that in times of distance and estrangement God offers us his life.
The Gospel parable about the talents, and Saint Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians both tell us to be at peace with ourselves in heart and mind, for if we are doing the Lord’s work there is nothing to fear. So let us be fearless in our living out the gospel in our lives where we are and remember that even in our darkest times God is near to those who love him.