He Gives and Takes Away
Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
“A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’
He replied, ‘Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.’
Then the second came and reported,
‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’
And to this servant too he said,
‘You, take charge of five cities.’
Then the other servant came and said,
‘Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.’
He said to him,
‘With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’
And to those standing by he said,
‘Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.’
But they said to him,
‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’
He replied, ‘I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.’”
After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
In today’s Gospel, the nobleman gives what he has to the servants; it’s as if his work is to be done now by others. The same for Jesus and ourselves now; we are entrusted with the mission and the life of Jesus for today. My parish priest has been stressing Christ's call to all of us, “To go forth and spread the Gospel.”
“missa est,” “Go, it is sent,” are the concluding Latin words addressed to the people in the Mass of the Roman Rite. We are sent out into the world to take the gift of Christ to the people. We see in examples such as Mother Teresa her ability to give and to share Jesus with everyone she met. This is not a popular way of thinking when many feel that life consists of amassing more and that security is in having. Even if that means keeping Jesus to one’s self.
We are called to be like the saints and surrender ourselves to him. God wants to give us more, but if we are not responsible with the gifts, or materials we have, like a good parent, he will refrain from giving.
In prayer, we can mull over what gifts and talents we can bring to the service of God today. When we give what we are and have in the service of the Lord, we receive more than we give. Nothing given is wasted in the hands of God. He can use out gifts and talents to spread the good news.
We must first allow him to work through us. Jesus seeks people he can trust to share Him with the world. Cowards will never build the Kingdom of Heaven.
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