Gospel Reflection Week 33 Ordinary Time – Cycle A

Upon first reading of today’s Gospel, the man on his way abroad might come over as a hard man, a taskmaster. Let’s bear with it, though, remembering that Jesus is using him to depict the Kingdom of Heaven.
We should do something with the gifts we are given. It isn’t good enough to know that we have them but bury them in the ground because we don’t know what to do with them. That won’t benefit others and it won’t benefit us. It’s like commerce in that respect: our selling and buying helps others out as well as ourselves… that is, if we do it well. Its the same in our relationship with God. When we use our gifts from God, they impact on others and help them, whilst we continue to grow in love for him. Love is never a selfish thing. It always grows outwards
Our gifts from God can range from speaking and writing to being good at our work, whatever it is. We might be artists or craftsmen, authors or any other creative influence on the world. But our gift could also be something like smiling, listening, being a good friend, having a good lived understanding of pain so that it can be used to help others who have pain. It could be having a good word to say when a good word is needed. It could be discretion. It could be knowing when to speak – and when not to. It could be having any eye for detail. All of these things are useful. They are all currency… currency that can be used towards the Kingdom of Heaven.
Christ is asking us to use those gifts. And, to those who have them, more will be given. Gifts self-generate, they develop under the loving eyes of God, and the single talent you started with becomes two.
We all have gifts but some of us may wonder what it is. If you’re not yet sure, remember this: the parable opens with a reminder that we have already been entrusted with a most extraordinary gift. It is the gift of being the temporary custodians of the kingdom. Christ says that the man “…entrusted his property to them.” that group of servants to whom he has given the talents is us. We know through the Gospels (which also have been given to us as gifts) what we should do in order to attain the Kingdom. Christ himself came with the gift of love, the gift of new life. So, let us run with these talents, and make our lives into a living search for Jesus, a search for the king of love, who gives us his love that we may be free.
Matthew 25:14-30
Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out.
‘The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
‘Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.”
‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”
‘Next the man with the two talents came forward. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”
‘Last came forward the man who had the one talent. “Sir,” said he “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered; so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.” But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have recovered my capital with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the five talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’