33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The parable of the talents is one of those that goes on and on. Very briefly, 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. The servant entrusted with five returned an additional five, and the one with two another 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. 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 challenges us to consider what it means to be a disciple. We teamed up with him when we first said “yes” to Jesus’ call to follow him. God has given us all we need to continue the mission and expects us to offer our all to continue.
The last line of the parable describes the soul’s regret when realizing it lost the opportunity to partner with Jesus. This isn’t a punishment from God – rather a self-generated inner suffering over a missed opportunity.
This parable challenges us to consider our Christian commitment, 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 must gather with open hearts to 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 tells us 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.
Holy Spirit, give me the courage to say “yes” to Jesus’ call to follow him. Open our hearts to receive his word. Heal our eyes so that we might see him. Heal our ears so that we might hear him. Heal our crippled legs so that we might follow him. Lord, increase our faith. Amen.