XXXIII SUNDAY OF THE YEAR
proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; 1 thessalonians 5:1-6; matthew 25:14-30
as a child, norman geisler—the famous apologist, theologian and author—went to a vacation bible school because some friends invited him. he returned to the same church for sunday school. each week a bus driver picked him up. week after week, for eight years, he attended church, but never committed his life to GOD. finally, during his senior year in high school, after being picked up for church over 400 times, he committed his life to CHRIST. what if the bus driver had given up on geisler at 395? what if the bus driver had said: «this kid is going nowhere spiritually, why waste any more time on him?» (cf. max lucado, GOD came near)
that unknown and unsung bus driver (or drivers) was a hi-fi (high-fidelity) christian! he stuck to the task entrusted to him; he was faithful to his responsibility!
that’s the challenge jesus puts before us in this sunday’s gospel: fidelity to our GOD-given mission.
the parable of the talents is NOT about using/multiplying our skills and gifts (though we need these for the mission, and GOD gives us a mission based on our capacities)!
a talent was about fifteen years’ wages, and—in the parable—symbolises something of great value to the LORD, something that belonged to him, and that he entrusted to his servants.
the talents represent his word (also: his love, forgiveness, sacraments…). those who transmit it find that it multiplies; those who study it find their understanding of it deepens (recall that isaiah 55:10-12 tells us that GOD’s word, when invested, always brings a return!)… and those who bury it find its value diminishes.
the first reading has a similar thrust: it glorifies «a worthy wife» not for her talents and gifts but for her fidelity to her responsibility.
the gospel and the first reading promise a reward for such fidelity: «enter into the joy of your master» and «give her a reward for her labours».
am i faithful to my GOD-given mission of doing my daily duty and of proclaiming his word? or does fear (of failure, rejection, judgement…) prevent me from being faithful?
on world communications day, may i be a hi-fi christian and faithfully communicate GOD’s love, word and forgiveness to all people. on the world day of the poor, may i build up the poor and the marginalised.