Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time - 2nd September 2017
Reading 1, First Thessalonians 4:9-12
9 As for brotherly love, there is no need to write to you about that, since you have yourselves learnt from God to love one another,
10 and in fact this is how you treat all the brothers throughout the whole of Macedonia. However, we do urge you, brothers, to go on making even greater progress
11 and to make a point of living quietly, attending to your own business and earning your living, just as we told you to,
12 so that you may earn the respect of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 7-8, 9
The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has performed wonders, his saving power is in his right hand and his holy arm.
7 Let the sea thunder, and all that it holds, the world and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands, and the mountains shout for joy together,
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel, Matthew 25:14-30
"The master will settle his account with them"
15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one, each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out on his journey.
16 The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more.
17 The man who had received two made two more in the same way.
18 But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
19 Now a long time afterwards, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them.
20 The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. "Sir," he said, "you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made."
22 Next the man with the two talents came forward. "Sir," he said, "you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made."
24 Last came forward the man who had the single talent. "Sir," said he, "I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you had not sown and gathering where you had not scattered;
25 so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back."
26 But his master answered him, "You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered?
27 Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have got my money back with interest.
28 So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the ten talents.
30 As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth."
The Gospel of the Lord.
Reflection: What do coins and the law of economics have to do with the kingdom of God? The Lord entrusts the subjects of his kingdom with gifts and graces and he gives his subjects the freedom to use them as they think best. With each gift and talent, God gives sufficient means (grace and wisdom) for using them in a fitting way. As the parable of the talents shows, God abhors indifference and an attitude that says it's not worth trying. God honors those who use their talents and gifts for doing good. Those who are faithful with even a little are entrusted with more! But those who neglect or squander what God has entrusted to them will lose what they have.
There is an important lesson here for us. No one can stand still for long in the Christian life. We either get more or we lose what we have. We either advance towards God or we slip back. Do you seek to serve God with the gifts, talents, and graces he has given to you?
Prayer: "Lord Jesus, be the ruler of my heart and thoughts, be the king of my home and relationships, and be the master of my work and service. Help me to make good use of the gifts, talents, time, and resources you give me for your glory and your kingdom." Amen.
God rewards those who use their gifts for serving him and the good of others.