1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Jesus’ parable of the talents draws our attention to the many gifts that God has given us: the gift of life, the gift of our natural talents and abilities, the gift of the call to eternal life, the gift of redemption, the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Some of us have received five talents, others three talents, others one talent. The parable teaches us that what is important is not so much the quantity of the gifts we have received but rather how we use them during our lives here on earth. We need to place our gifts at the service of the Kingdom of God.
We have read three parables about our lives and the time that extends to Jesus’ return in glory: the parable of the faithful and prudent servant, the parable of the wise virgins, the parable of the good and faithful servant.
The first speaks especially to those given authority over God’s household. One of their primary duties is to distribute food to the household. They care for the material needs and spiritual needs of God’s Church. Jesus reminds us that: “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24). The master of the household, Jesus Christ, expects his servants to be faithful to their duties.
The second parable is addressed to all Christians who await the return of the heavenly bridegroom. We wait patiently and in hope. The Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, asks that we live as he did, guided in everything by power of the Holy Spirit.
The last parable speaks as well to all Christians and invites each one of us to reflect on our mission in the Church and in the world. The Kingdom that Jesus inaugurated grows like a seed and like yeast in bread dough. We share in Christ’s work and work towards the definitive establishment of the Kingdom at the end of time, when the Master returns from his journey. The Master, Jesus Christ, will reward his good and faithful servants.
When we reflect on ourselves and our lives, this should not lead us to vanity, pride, and mistaken self-importance. But rather, as Paul says, “we should boast in the Lord”. Everything we have comes from God. Just as God chose Israel because they were the smallest people (Deuteronomy 7:7), and chose Moses, because he was the most humble man alive, and chose Mary, because she considered herself the handmaid of the Lord, God continues to choose the foolish, the weak and the lowly in the eyes of the world. In truth, those who are humble are wise, because they see things the way God sees them. The humble are strong, because they rely on the power of God. The humble are exalted because they have been raised with Jesus Christ.
Through his Incarnation, Passion, Death and Resurrection, Jesus has become for us, wisdom from God. He has become our righteousness, our sanctification and our redemption. We did not and do not justify ourselves, make ourselves righteous, or sanctify ourselves or redeem ourselves. Justification, righteousness, holiness and redemption are gifts we have received from God, through Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit.
We thank God today for his gifts and we ask that we may serve him faithfully, for those who serve God in this life will reign with Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of heaven. At the end of our lives, we desire to hear the words of God: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Come, share your master’s joy”.
Readers may contact Fr Jason Mitchell at firstname.lastname@example.org.