As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’
But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’ He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ He said to him, ‘And you, rule over five cities.’
Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’
He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) ‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’”
After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Today’s Gospel story is about some servants and what they do with a gift they are given. For me the gospel seems to ask the question, “What have you done with your life?” God has given me gifts and talents, what have I done with them? Have I used my gifts wisely and for the sake of the kingdom? Have I used my talents at all? With some of my talents – organizing, math skills, sewing and team player – I know I have put them to good use. But I have other talents that I never seem to take the time to develop. Maybe because they don’t come so easily. It takes hard work and dedication. I can only hope that God will one day say, “Well done, good servant.”
Each of us has gifts. What are your gifts? And how do you use your gifts for the Kingdom?
—Margaret Horner earned a Master of Pastoral Studies degree from St. Francis de Sales Seminary. She currently serves as the Director of Liturgy at Gesu Parish, Milwaukee, WI.
Lord, give me the grace to labor with you without seeking myself—to live the Kingdom in its full reality.
—John Futrell, SJ