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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Sunday 33rd (A) in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mt 25,14-30): Imagine someone who, before going abroad, summoned his servants to entrust his property to them. He gave five talents of silver to one, then two to another, and one to a third, each one according to his ability; and he went away.

»He who received five talents went at once to do business with the money and gained another five. The one who received two did the same and gained another two. But the one with one talent dug a hole and hid his master's money.

»After a long time, the master of those servants returned and asked for a reckoning. The one who received five talents came with another five talents, saying: ‘Lord, you entrusted me with five talents, but see I have gained five more with them’. The master answered: ‘Very well, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in a few things, I will entrust you with much more. Come and share the joy of your master’.

»Then the one who had two talents came and said: ‘Lord, you entrusted me with two talents; I have two more which I gained with them’. The master said: ‘Well, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in little things, I will entrust you with much more. Come and share the joy of your master’.

»Finally, the one who had received one talent came and said: ‘Master, I know that you are an exacting man. You reap what you have not sown and gather what you have not invested. I was afraid, so I hid your money in the ground. Here, take what is yours’. But his master replied: ‘Wicked and worthless servant, you know that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not invested. Then you should have deposited my money in the bank, and you would have given it back to me with interest on my return. Therefore, take the talent from him, and give it to the one who has ten. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who are unproductive, even what they have will be taken from them. As for that useless servant, throw him out into the dark where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth’».

«To all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance»

Fr, Antoni POU OSB Monk of Montserrat (Montserrat, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, Jesus tells us another parable of judgment. We are approaching Advent season and, therefore, the end of the liturgical year is getting near.

By giving us life, God has also provided us with the possibility —smaller or bigger— of personal, ethical and religious development. It does not matter if we have more or less, what matters is that what we have received has to yield some profit. The man of our parable, who hides his talent for fear of his master, did not want to run any risks: «But the man who received one [talent] went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money» (Mt 25:18). Maybe the core of the parable is this: we must conceive a God that motivates us to come out of ourselves, who encourages us to the freedom of the Kingdom of God.

The word “talent” of this parable —which is nothing but a weight equivalent to 30 Kg., of silver— has become so popular that it is even used to show the qualities of a person. But the parable does not imply that the talents God has given us are only our possibilities but also our limitations. What we are and what we have, is the raw material out of which God wants to make something new with us.

The phrase «For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who are unproductive, even what they have will be taken from them» (Mt 25:29), as a matter of fact, is not an aphorism to encourage consumption, but it can only be understood at the level of love and generosity. In fact, if we correspond to God's gifts while counting on his help, we shall then experience that it is actually Him who is paying the interest on the investment: «The stories of so many plain and good people, whom their faith have made them good, prove faith may produce very positive effects (...). And the other way round: we have to realize too that with the evaporation of our faith, our society has become much harder...» (Benedict XVI).

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