Homily — 33rd Sunday OT A November 16, 2008

Homily — 33rd Sunday OT A                November 16, 2008

In today’s parable, Jesus speaks about a man going on journey, going away for a long time.

Before the man leaves however, the parable says the man entrusted his possessions to the servants.

One servant receives 5 of the master’s talents, another servant receives 2 of the master’s talents, and the third servant receives 1 of the master’s talents.

Now, to really understand this parable, we ought to know what the Gospel means by the word “talent”.

A talent in Jesus’ day was a measure of money, a very large measure of money in fact.  One talent was equal to 15 year’s salary of an average worker; or a hundred pounds of silver.

So even the man who received only one of the master’s talents received a huge amount, 15 year’s pay, and the man who received 5 talents received the equivalent of 75 year’s pay.

And (my children), it is somewhat unfortunate that when we hear this parable, we immediately think of the “talents” — that is, the natural talents —  God has given us.

Things like our intelligence, our skill at a particular trade, our athletic or artistic ability.

Certainly those kinds of talents are gifts God has blessed us with, and certainly we need to find and develop and use those talents for God’s glory in life, but if we read the parable closely, that’s not what Jesus is really talking about.

For the master entrusted His possessions, His talents to them.

And it’s obvious that the master is Jesus himself, who like the master in the parable has gone off on a journey, has gone off to Heaven to prepare a place for us, and like the master, after a long time, Jesus will return to settle accounts with us, at the end of our life.

And finally, like the master in the parable, Jesus has left His servants His possessions.  All that Jesus, the Master, the King of Kings and Lord of Lord, possesses has been given to us.

It wasn’t his material possessions Jesus left to us — the only thing Jesus owned was a rather nice seamless robe, but that was taken by the soldiers when they crucified him.

And it wasn’t His natural talent Jesus gave us either, his skills as a Carpenter, His eloquence in preaching, His art of  telling stories.

But what possessions Jesus gives even the least of his servants is worth far more than the 5 talents, the 75 years of wages, the first servant received.

From the moment we were Baptized, Jesus gave us all that He possessed.  He gave us His Divine Sonship — we became adopted Sons and Daughters of God.  He gave us the merits of His Passion and Death, and washed away our sins in His own Blood.

He gave us the infinite riches of His Holy Spirit, supernatural Faith, Hope and Charity, the seven Gifts of the Spirit.

He gave us the rich possession of His Mother Mary to be our Mother, our help through life.  He gave us the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist.

To some of us he’s given the gift of a vocation to Marriage or Religious Life or Holy Orders, or He’s given us charismatic gifts to build up the Body of Christ the Church.

These are the talents, these are the Master’s possessions the  parable refers to.

And so Jesus asks us:  have I used these talents God has given me to the best of my ability?

Have I put my stock in my Catholic Faith, have I invested 100% in it, even when people say that this is a foolish investment in this day and age?

Or like the third servant, have I buried these Supernatural riches God wishes me to live off of so deep in my heart, that I barely even think of God and His will for my life?

May we make good use of the vast Spiritual Riches Jesus has left us to live with, may we each day invest in them and use them so as to profit spirituality from them and cause others to profit from them also.

That way, when the Master returns suddenly at the end of our life, he may not overtake us like a thief in the night, but rather we will be prepared to welcome Him and share in our Master’s joy.  Having been faithful in those small matters on earth, he will give us great responsibilities in Heaven.

Comments are closed.