August 30, 2014
Saturday of the 21st Week in the Ordinary Time A
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Psalm 33:12-13, 18-21
The Parable of Talents
One of the themes of the parable is centered on the servants work with ‘talent’ (money) given to them. The first two servants were industrious and they invested the money and doubled it. The third servant buries it under the ground.
Note that the master returns “after a long time” (v. 19). We can notice here the theme of ‘delay’ as an important element of the parable as in the previous one.
God has given us many gifts and talents. We are called to maximize the diversity of gifts and utilize for the betterment of the humanity. It requires collaboration or partnership. Collaboration essentially means a readiness to relate and work in co-operation and harmony with the members of our own community and with the like-minded people of a larger community. We need existential courage to utilize collaborative resources for the welfare of others.
Much attention is drawn to the third servant who returns the talent untouched. He acknowledges that he acted out of fear (v.25), he is also found to be guilty of ‘wickedness and laziness’ (v. 26). So he is condemned and the only one talent is taken away from him and given to the first servant.
The parable shows that the Christian life before the Parousia of the Lord is essentially a matter of ‘waiting’. But this waiting should not be converted into fearful inactivity. Those who were illustrious, hardworking and faithful were praised and rewarded by the master. The reward here is more responsibility being entrusted by the Master (vv. 21.23) and the reward of ‘entering into the joy’ of the Master.
“For all those who have, more will be given (v.29) expresses the fundamental insight that God’s gift calls forth total response from the recipients. The parable thus insists on faithful and generous commitment to one’s mission.
What is required is not passivity or inactivity but to be creative, to be enterprising with wholeheartedness, to be active by taking initiatives and even risks and challenges like the first two servants. Every Christian disciple is called to choose to do what is good for the Kingdom growth. All these demands total faithfulness, creativity and commitment to the Lord and mission.
Fr. Shepherd Thelapilly CMI