Thirty Third Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 19: 11-28
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.
KEEP YOUR IDENTITY: One of the most important and hard things in our life is to keep our identity. Our identity as Christians is to follow Christ even if it costs us our earthly life. Many saints kept their faith by words and deeds and we remember them for that. Some were martyred because they refused to follow unchristian commands from unethical leaders. We should follow the example of this mother and her children who refuse to partake on what is against their faith. The Gospel calls us to be trustworthy in whatever tasks we are given, and use our talents fully for the benefit of God and for others; avoid selfish acts. This is also a call to trust and obey the orders from our Christ by calling others to His Kingdom.
PRAYER: Help me Lord to remain strong now and forever.
BACK YOUR DREAM WITH ACTION: The third slave in the Gospel had the nerve to say what he thought of the master, a kind of misplaced courage. But his very words did him in: ‘I was afraid of you’. When fear rules you, you are not at your best. His problem was not that he lacked courage, but he failed to perform. He became a loser when it was hard work and perseverance that was required. Perform or perish seems to be the command. Fruitlessness is a sin reprimanded several places in the scriptures. Great souls have wills, feeble ones only have wishes. We need to back up our wishes with will to act. Let us be always on the move, trying to contribute in the building up of a new world.
BRING YOUR ENERGY TO THE KINGDOM: There is beautiful French word, élan, which means energy, enthusiasm and vitality. The difference between the servant who made 10 pounds out of one and the servant who just returned what had been given to him was, élan. In today’s context, 10 people apply for the same job. All of them have the same qualifications. Only one gets the job, how? The answer is élan! The word might sound secular and fashion-oriented, but Christian spiritual writers of old in their list of cardinal sins included, what they called, acedia or sloth. It is laziness, lethargy, life-lessness, energy-lessness, idleness; the opposite of élan. Lethargy is the playground of the devil. As Christians we need to exercise élan. We get the élan from our motivation for God and for his Kingdom. That is the message of the parable today.