Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year A

Posté par diaconos le 11 novembre 2020

You have been faithful for some things, I will entrust you with a great deal

La parabola dei talenti

The parable of talents

# The parable is a tale that through comparisons and similarities, or allegories, reveals a moral or religious teaching. The parable of the talents is a parable of Jesus narrated in the Gospel according to Matthew 25,14-30; a similar parable, called the parable of the mines, is found in the Gospel according to Luke 19,12-27. The parable speaks of a lord who goes on a journey and entrusts his goods to his servants. To one servant he entrusts five talents, to a second two talents and to a third a talent. The first two, taking advantage of the sum received, manage to double the amount; the third instead goes to hide the talent received and buries it. When the master returns, he appreciates the work of the first two servants and condemns the behaviour of the last one. Parable of mines: In this parable, the master is a prince who must leave to receive the coronation and entrusts his servants with equal amounts. Another difference is that the mine had a much smaller value than talent.

 # The liturgical year, also known as the church year or Christian year, as well as the kalendar, consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determines when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed, and which portions of Scripture are to be read either in an annual cycle or in a cycle of several years. Distinct liturgical colours may be used in connection with different seasons of the liturgical year. The dates of the festivals vary somewhat between the different churches, though the sequence and logic is largely the same. The Church of England, Mother Church of the Anglican Communion, uses a liturgical year that is in most respects identical to that of the 1969 Roman Catholic Common Lectionary. While the calendars contained within the Book of Common Prayer and the Alternative Service Book (1980) have no « Ordinary Time », Common Worship (2000) adopted the ecumenical 1983 Revised Common Lectionary. The few exceptions are Sundays following Christmas and Transfiguration, observed on the last Sunday before Lent instead of on Reminiscere.

From the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Matthew

At that time Jesus told his disciples this parable : « He was like a man on a journey: he called his servants and entrusted his goods to them.  To one he gave the sum of five talents, to two other talents, to the third one talent, to each according to his ability. Then he left. Immediately the one who had received the five talents left and used them, and won five more.

Likewise, he who had received two talents gained two more. But he who had received only one went to dig the earth and hid his master’s money. After a long time, the master of those servants returned and asked them for a bill. He who had received five talents came to him and presented him with five more, and said: « Lord, you have entrusted me with five talents; behold, I have earned five more.

And his master said to him: « Very well, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful for few things, I will give you many; enter into the joy of your lord. And he who had received two talents came and said: « Lord, you have given me two talents, and behold, I have gained two more. And his master said to him: « Very well, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful for few things, I will give you many; enter into the joy of your lord.

And he who had received a talent approached him and said : « Lord, I knew that you are a hard man: reap where you have not sown, reap where you have not sown, reap where you have not sown, reap where you have not scattered the grain. I was afraid, and I went to hide your talent in the ground. And here it is. You have what is yours ».

His master replied : « You, lazy and evil servant, knew that I reap where I have not sown. You knew that I reap where I have not sown. You knew that I reap where I have not sown. You knew that I reap where I have not sown. You knew that I reap where I have not sown. So I had to put my money in the bank and when I came back I would have found it with interest. So take away his talent, and give it to the one who has ten.

To the one who has, it will be given more and it will be in abundance; but the one who has nothing will also have what has been taken away from him. But the good-for-nothing servant will be cast into the outer darkness, where he will weep and gnash his teeth » (Mt 25, 14-30).

Do not be afraid !

The parable of the talents, like many others, deals with the Kingdom of God and the return of Christ. The essential thing is to prepare for the encounter and always be ready to welcome those who come like a thief in the night. There are « talents » and « talents ».

Talents are those natural gifts that everyone has; they are those special abilities that we all have to make this or that thing extraordinarily : this is a talented painter, but look at this, this is a young talent; but in Jesus’ time a talent was a silver or gold ingot worth six thousand denarii, an enormous sum : the equivalent of the salary of six thousand days of work; that is, the salary of more than sixteen years of work !

These talents entrusted to the servants, to each one according to his abilities, and without particular instructions, by the master who leaves for a journey, leave them to face their responsibility. The accounts will be due when the master returns. The Master has gone on a journey and, after having entrusted all his goods to us, he is God, of course. And the reward is to share his Kingdom : « Enter into the joy of your Master ».

The story of talents is first and foremost the story of fear. And the fears that we all have. The first thing to do is to admit it to yourself. Having become aware of this, there is reason to act, Christ tells us. By fear, we risk doing nothing in the image and likeness of the man who had only one talent : « I was afraid, and I went to bury your talent in the earth. Here it is. You have what is yours.  » We are not on this earth to endure life, but to live it to the fullest, and to do so, sometimes there are risks to be taken. This man claims to know how to distinguish between the good and the bad and, for him, the master is bad: « Master, I knew you were a hard man, you reap where you have not sown, you reap where you have not scattered the grain. I was afraid. « It is there, in each of us, that the beginning of failure and misfortune can happen.

To believe that God is truly Love, this is the challenge that is proposed to us. To believe it and therefore to come out of the fear that sterilises us. Let us try to identify the fears that make us take God for a hard master. One of the greatest challenges of our life is the transition from fear to faith, even when, like Jesus on the cross, we are attacked by the worst. That is why Jesus’ encounters with his disciples so often begin with : « Do not be afraid ».

Those who are afraid bury their lives because they are too afraid to lose them. Now, we have been given one life, let’s not miss it. It is worth living to the full. Do nothing, so as not to be blamed… that is exactly what we would be blamed for, and quite severely : « As for that good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the darkness; there will be tears and gnashing of teeth ! »

We all have skills, talents. What do we do with them ? Do we use them to satisfy our selfishness, for our personal interests ? Or to honor the Lord in preserving and developing our environment, to serve the Lord in others, in those around us, in those who are worse off than we are?

If we act in this way, let the talents that the Lord has given us bear fruit, let us fill our personal jug to the brim. And when the Lord returns, we can say to him in all truth : « Behold, Lord, with my abilities and the gifts of your creation, I present to you what I have done with it ; I have done my best and I have done all I could : I offer it to you as a beautiful gift. «   And the Lord will say to us: « Come, good and faithful servant, enter into my kingdom of light.

Deacon Michel Houyoux

Links to other Christian websites

◊ Fr. Jim Kirstein, SMA : Click here to read the paper → 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time 2020 – Year 

◊ Father Valan : Click here to read the paper → Homilies – Thirtieth Sunday of Ordinary Time (Year A)

Fr Michael Clement SAC

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