PROVERBS 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31 | 1 THESSALONIANS 5:1-6 | MATTHEW 25:14-30
We all know the parable of the talents. It’s one of those parables that goes on and on. Very quickly: a wealthy man, preparing to go on a journey, entrusts three of his servants with his wealth. He gives five talents to one, two to another, and one to another. When the man returns he settles accounts with his servants. The servant entrusted with five returned an additional five, the one with two an additional two. The servant with one talent confesses that he had buried the talent given to him. The wealthy man rewards and promotes the two who invested their talents doubling their investments by giving them more responsibilities. The servant who buried his talent was thrown out “into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Where do we go with this?
The parable is challenging us to consider what it means to be a disciple. When we first said “yes” to Jesus’ call to follow him we teamed up with him. God has given us all we need to continue the mission, and expects each of us to give our all to continue that mission.
The last line of the parable describes the soul’s regret when realizing that it lost the opportunity to partner with Jesus in his mission. This isn’t a punishment from God. This is self-generated inner suffering over missed opportunity. It’s soul loss.
This parable challenges us to consider our commitment as Christians beginning with our participation in the Eucharist. It’s not enough to “go to church” every Sunday. We must recognize the gospel event that it is. Jesus continues to teach and heal at the eucharist. We have to gather with open hearts so that we can hear and be touched by his teaching. We have to pray for the healing of the fears that prevent us from saying “yes” to his invitation to follow him. The parable is telling us that we can’t sit on our hands and consider ourselves Christians. A “yes” to Jesus is a commitment to take up the ministry he began.