Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A
Reflecting on Matthew 25:14-30
Boy, it’s hard to hear the Gospel today and not applaud the third slave who was savvy enough to bury his one talent so at least he had that to give back to his master. With pensions gone and 401Ks vanished and wise investments brought to ruin, who doesn’t wish they had buried their money in a field somewhere, ready to be dug up when times get tougher?
But I also root for the third slave because I think he suffers from a deep insecurity, or maybe an anxiety disorder, that keeps him from putting himself out there and taking a risk. How many people do you know—or maybe it’s you—who are paralyzed in some place in their lives? For so many people the daily struggle to just make eye contact, say hello, and make their way in our extroverted society is a challenge that leaves them exhausted by day’s end.
Or recall Vincent, whose immense brilliance compelled him to capture beauty in its thousands of manifestations on his canvasses. But tortured by anxiety and self-doubt, he finally yielded to that starry night where his art could torture him no more.
It’s risky and painful to put yourself out there, but in the most important race of all it’s crucial that you show up. Today Jesus is urging us to take every risk, use every single opportunity to secure the Kingdom of Heaven. Love, and more love will be given you. Have faith, and more faith will take root in you. Be rich in hope, and more hope will abound. That’s the simple Math of the Kingdom of God.
In what ways does your daily investment in love pay great dividends?
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I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).
This weekend when I heard the gospel I latched on to the phrase “according to his ability.” And like you, Kathy, I connected with the third servant. I had to wonder what would have happened to him if he had lost the one talent that was given to him. Obviously that was the extent of the “talent” that his master thought he had. Maybe the servant just needed some extra training.
Somebody at work asked me one day how come I wasn’t being trained in other areas. The people around me are all moving on but I guess it doesn’t appear that I have the “talent.” Yet! Of course, I know where my gifts lie but….
So, on the way to work each day I pray that what I do praises God and makes the kingdom on earth a holier place. I make sure to say “good morning” to as many people as I meet. I smile as I notice people and offer a sense of gentleness. I try to lift people up, by remembering what they’ve told me about themselves and asking how they are with sincerity and true concern. I make every effort to be hospitable to the hearts of people. This is bigger than my job, my “one talent.” It’s about making Trinitarian Love real in a world that aches for something beyond what it chooses and what it knows.
Thanks for a very inspirational site. I found your address in the Living Faith booklet after I read one of your reflections.
Blessings on your ministry.
Bobbie, I so agree with you! Why can’t we just stay where we are needed and are good at what we do? I think today’s push to be always more is part of that “love of money” the Lord talks about. It’s not just love of money, but love of position, love of recognition, love of ambition, etc. that pushes us yet cripples us and causes us to lose our humanity, our ability to say hi, how are you doing to everyone we meet and mean it, our ability to really care about people instead of the bottom line. Stay the course and be who God wants/needs you to be. I, too, pray that I rise to the challenge and be what He needs me to be that day to advance the kingdom. Blessings!