Reflection: Thirty-Third Sunday of Ordinary Time

Chinese Mass:Every Sunday 2:15 p.m.

Our Lady of the Assumption RC Church, Assumption Priory, Victoria Park Square, Bethnal Green E2 9PB (map)

After Mass you are welcome to join the community for a tea gathering

Bible study/sharing every Saturday (2:00-4:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church, 5 Leicester Place WC2H 7BX (near See Woo Chinese Supermarket, Leicester Square tube station)

Talk and discussion meeting First Monday of every month (4:00-6:00 p.m.) at Notre Dame De France Church

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[1st Reading – Prov.31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; Ps.127; 2nd Reading – 1Thess.5:1-6; Gospel – Mt.25:14-30]

“… IN PROPORTION OF HIS ABILITY”

Whenever Jesus speaks about the Kingdom of Heaven, he always explains through making a comparison. In today’s gospel, Jesus says that the Kingdom of Heaven is like ‘a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them’. Here we have the proprietor, an ‘active’ man on his way abroad. We also have these servants to whom the proprietor entrusts his property. He did not give them the property, but he entrusted it to them.  The property remained his, but the servants were to take care of the property (on his behalf) and continue his business for him, as if it was their own… For this reason, we are told that he did not divide it in equal proportions, but, ‘to one he gave five talents, to another two and to a third, one… each in proportion to his ability.’

In the parable we are told that the first two servants doubled their talents through their trading, while the third, ‘went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s one talent’. He did nothing and the excuse he used was that he was ‘afraid’, so he hid it. When the master returned back home and went through his accounts, since the two ‘good and faithful’ servants doubled their talents, they were praised and invited to join in their master’s happiness. The third servant however had a very different outcome. Since he did nothing and instead hid the talent, he was called ‘wicked and lazy’ and ‘good for nothing’, and instead of sharing in his master’s happiness, ‘he was thrown out into the dark where there is weeping and grinding of teeth’.

So, how does this parable reflect our own life and our own relationship with God? Well, God (our Master) has entrusted to us (his servants) his property (the Kingdom of Heaven) through the gifts (talents) of the Holy Spirit, according to our own ability. To some he gave five, to some others he gave two and to others he gave only one. The property has never become “ours” because it is still the Master’s own property, but he gave us the responsibility to take care of it and be faithful to him by producing other fruits, other talents. Those who are ‘good and faithful’, even in small things, will ‘join in the master’s happiness’.

There are also those who for some reason or another do not produce anything and do not make use of the gifts given to them. They are not fruitful. They are not even wise enough to deposit the talents to have, at least, some kind of interest… In reality they do not even know the master because what they know of him is only through ‘hearsay’ i.e. that he reaps where he has not sown and gathers where he has not scattered. Since they do not know the Master, and therefore they do not have a true and honest relationship with him, they are afraid of him. Thus, they do nothing in their relationship with God, but instead, they just hideaway the talents that he gives them. Since they are not ready to get to know the Master well, and since they are just ‘wicked and lazy’, they are left out… lost… in the dark.

“Lord, quite often we forget that you gave us your Kingdom of heaven to take care of it here on earth. You also gave us the talents we need to use them to take care of your Kingdom of heaven on earth. Give us the strength to be good and faithful servants with the property you entrusted to us. Thank you Lord!”

 

 

Fr. Jesmond Pawley, OFM Conv.

(Permission to reproduce on this site by Fr. Jesmond, St. Patrick’s RC Church, Waterloo http://www.stpatrickwaterloo.org.uk/ )

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