Category

Gospel Reflections

Gospel Reflection Jan 21 – Sr. Teresa

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, January 21

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 1: 14 – 20

Gospel:
After John had been arrested,
Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the gospel of God:
“This is the time of fulfillment.
The kingdom of God is at hand.
Repent, and believe in the gospel.”

As he passed by the Sea of Galilee,
he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting their nets into the sea;
they were fishermen.
Jesus said to them,
“Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Then they abandoned their nets and followed him.
He walked along a little farther
and saw James, the son of Zebedee, and his brother John.
They too were in a boat mending their nets.
Then he called them.
So they left their father Zebedee in the boat
along with the hired men and followed him.

Reflection:
Wait! What? Didn’t we just have this reading last week? Didn’t we hear Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew being called and Jesus inviting them to “Come and see?” We did and we didn’t.

We did hear about the call of Simon and Andrew, but it was told in the Gospel of John. This week it is being told in the Gospel of Mark. If you put them side-by-side, you would note and maybe wonder about several differences. That is exactly what I did. Actually, I spent some significant time doing that very thing. Then I began to wonder, am I doing this as a diversion? Am I doing this instead of spending some time looking deeply into the passage given today? I was avoiding looking more deeply and closer to the passage because I really don’t like that “leave everything” phrase.

We know that Peter and Andrew did not entirely abandon the fishing business, but they gradually follow Jesus, embrace his teachings and later begin their missionary work. We are not encouraged to give up our jobs or leave our families to become a follower of Jesus. We are asked to abandon anything that keeps us from following him completely. Abandon anything that shifts our focus from Jesus. Take some time today reflecting upon what draws your focus away from God; are there things or people you choose over being a disciple of Jesus? A good place to start would be to wonder why you might say, “I am too busy to go to Church.” “I don’t have time to pray.” “I’m too tired to be involved in any kind of service project.” “I go to Church (most of the time) so my relationship with Jesus is fine.” I don’t really want a relationship with Jesus.” Busy-ness combined with Spiritual Sloth are probably the two biggest causes of losing sight of what is most important in life. Go back to Msgr. Hendricks reflection from last week. He said, “What Jesus asks of them (Peter and Andrew) is no different than what he asks of us, namely to do the works he does, to speak with compassion as he does, to care for those who reach out to us for our assistance.” In the past week did you do that or were you too busy or too spiritually lazy to even think about it? This week listen to Jesus’ call and invitation to “Come after me.”

Sister Teresa Tuite, OP

Gospel Reflection Jan 14 – Msgr Hendricks

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, January 14

Second Sunday of Ordinary Time

John 1:35-42

Gospel:
John was standing with two of his disciples,
and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said,
“Behold, the Lamb of God.”
The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.
Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them,
“What are you looking for?”
They said to him, “Rabbi” – which translated means Teacher -,
“where are you staying?”
He said to them, “Come, and you will see.”
So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,
and they stayed with him that day.
It was about four in the afternoon.
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter,
was one of the two who heard John and followed Jesus.
He first found his own brother Simon and told him,
“We have found the Messiah” – which is translated Christ -.
Then he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said,
“You are Simon the son of John;
you will be called Cephas” – which is translated Peter.

Reflection:
As the major celebrations of the Birth of the Messiah have concluded, the Church now turns her attention to our enduring relationship with Jesus Christ.

The gospel of John sees Jesus gathering his disciples and asking them to remain with him and issues an invitation to “come and see,” not only where he is staying but how he lives and how much he wants them to be close to him.  As John the Baptist calls him “the Lamb of God,” we know immediately that all of the promises of Old have been fulfilled in him and that a new era has dawned for the world.

What Jesus asks of them is no different than what he asks of us, namely to do the works he does, to speak with compassion as he does, to care for those who reach out to us for our assistance.

From now until Easter we are given a lesson each day to find ourselves drawn more closely to him, in thought, word, and deed.

Knowing that we too have found the Messiah, the  Christ, will make all the difference as we journey with him.

Monsignor Hendricks

Gospel Reflection Jan 7 – Deacon Paul

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, January 8

The Epiphany of the Lord

Matthew 2: 1 – 12

Gospel:
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,
in the days of King Herod,
behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,
“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?
We saw his star at its rising
and have come to do him homage.”
When King Herod heard this,
he was greatly troubled,
and all Jerusalem with him.
Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people,
He inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea,
for thus it has been written through the prophet:
And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
since from you shall come a ruler,
who is to shepherd my people Israel.”
Then Herod called the magi secretly
and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.
He sent them to Bethlehem and said,
“Go and search diligently for the child.
When you have found him, bring me word,
that I too may go and do him homage.”
After their audience with the king they set out.
And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them,
until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.
They were overjoyed at seeing the star,
and on entering the house
they saw the child with Mary his mother.
They prostrated themselves and did him homage.
Then they opened their treasures
and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod,
they departed for their country by another way.

Reflection:
Today’s story about the three Magi, following “the star” of the King of the Jews is a very familiar one for all of us. No other Gospel account other than Matthew has this narrative of the Magi visiting Jesus. His narrative underscores that Jesus is the promised Messiah and that this truth was a real threat to the reigning king.

The Epiphany marks the first appearance of Jesus to the Gentiles. It signals that God loves Gentiles as well as Jews and that God’s plan for salvation includes Gentiles too.
Herod, in our story represents the response of the unbeliever to the news of the coming of the Messiah. He is more concerned that the presence of Jesus will interfere with his power, with his position, and with his lifestyle. Our world today is filled with individuals much like Herod who want to know, but are not actually looking for the One who will save people from their sins.

Then there are the Wise Men, the focus of today’s story. They came to Jerusalem by following the light – the Star of Bethlehem that had been above their heads and guiding them to the Messiah. The Magi were some of the first people to worship Jesus as Lord. They prostrated themselves in homage and acceptance of the Messiah.

We can probably see ourselves in each of these individuals in this story. There are times when we perhaps keep ourselves wrapped up in the pleasures and power of sin, not just blinded by darkness but actively seeking it out in order to deny the truth of the Lord and the wages of sin. We in essence become like Herod in denying the wise things of our faith and we plot to maintain our material comforts, rather than open ourselves up to the Lord. But there are those times of grace when we are able to break through from the weight of the world and all of its distractions to see salvation through Jesus, and our redemption from sin. We truly can see the light, rather than hide from it. When we open up our hearts to the Lord, He can put us on the path that leads us not to destruction, but to salvation, away from becoming the Herods of this world and into faith in life everlasting.

Deacon Paul Zemanek

Gospel Reflection Dec 31 – Fr. Morris

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, December 31

The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph

Luke 2:22-40

Gospel:

When the days were completed for their purification
according to the law of Moses,
They took him up to Jerusalem
to present him to the Lord,
just as it is written in the law of the Lord,
Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,
and to offer the sacrifice of
a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,
in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon.
This man was righteous and devout,
awaiting the consolation of Israel,
and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit
that he should not see death
before he had seen the Christ of the Lord.
He came in the Spirit into the temple;
and when the parents brought in the child Jesus
to perform the custom of the law in regard to him,
He took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
“Now, Master, you may let your servant go
in peace, according to your word,
for my eyes have seen your salvation,
which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and glory for your people Israel.”
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him;
and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother,
“Behold, this child is destined
for the fall and rise of many in Israel,
and to be a sign that will be contradicted
—and you yourself a sword will pierce—
so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
There was also a prophetess, Anna,
the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher.
She was advanced in years,
having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage,
and then as a widow until she was eighty-four.
She never left the temple,
but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer.
And coming forward at that very time,
she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child
to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.

When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions
of the law of the Lord,
they returned to Galilee,
to their own town of Nazareth.
The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom;
and the favor of God was upon him.

Reflection:

What a bewildering experience this first trip to the Temple was for the Blessed Virgin and St Joseph! First a holy man runs up and exalts over their son. He is so overjoyed to see their newborn son that he exclaims that he is so content, he is ready to die now!

A prophet snatching your newborn up in a prayer of thanksgiving would be enough excitement for one day for any parent. But hard on the heels of the prophet comes a prophetess. This octogenarian anchoress who, we are told, “never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer,” begins to prophesize as well about the child!

But then, this Gospel reading concludes in a fitting way for the Feast of the Holy Family. After all this hubbub, all this extraordinary attention by holy people, Joseph and Mary are finally left alone. And left alone, they do exactly what they came to do: fulfill the Law and consecrate their son to God. Then, left untroubled by any more prophets or prophetesses, they return home to Nazareth.

In Nazareth, they are just Joseph and Mary. In the house at Nazareth, they are back to chores and diapers, carpentry and homemaking. And it was precisely in this environment that the Gospel tells us that Jesus “grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.”

The Son of God did not “grow up” as some prodigy in the inner Temple sanctum, carefully trained in Judaism by Levitical priests and educated by the best private tutors. No, it was precisely amid that most extraordinary of ordinary things– a happy, loving family — that Jesus grew in his humanity.

This Feast day reminds us that “the family” is important; so important, that even the Lord chose to live in a family! Our own families, nuclear and extended, may be a long, long way from being described as “holy.” Even words like “happy” or “loving” might feel like an exercise in wishful thinking. But let us never underestimate or understate the importance of “the family” for the world. At the expense of being simplistic, if the family is good enough for Jesus, imagine how good and necessary it is for us!

Father Morris

Gospel Reflection Dec 24 – Deacon Paul

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, December 24

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Luke 1: 26-38

Gospel:

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said,
“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said
and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.
Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.

“Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son,
and you shall name him Jesus.
He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever,
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”
But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

Reflection:

We heard this Gospel from Luke proclaimed four times this year with the first being on March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation; on December 8 for the Immaculate Conception; December 12, for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe; and today, on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. This Gospel is titled the Annunciation of the Lord as it commemorates how God made known to a young Jewish woman that she was to be the mother of His Son, and how Mary accepted her vocation with perfect conformity of will. It has been said, “God made us without us, and redeemed us without us, but cannot save us without us.” Mary’s “Yes” to the angel Gabriel’s message opened the way for God to accomplish the salvation of the world. It is for this reason that all generations are to call her “blessed.”

Just as the Virgin Mary was a willing participant for God to accomplish the salvation of the world, we also must be willing to allow God to save us from ourselves. We also have been called to say ‘Yes’, an unconditional ‘Yes’ to following Jesus.

As we gather at the table of the Lord this weekend, we are reminded of the cost of Jesus’ own obedience. As you take the bread, as you hold it – the symbol of Jesus’ body sacrificed for you – ask yourself about what God is calling you to do. Maybe it is to let go of something or perhaps to take on something. Maybe it is to change an attitude or ask for forgiveness or to provide someone forgiveness.

Dear Lord, make us more like Mary, willing to believe and open up our hearts to you and say ‘Yes’ to your message of salvation. “May it be done to ‘us’ according to your word.”

May you, your families, and loved ones have a very Happy and Blessed Christmas! Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.

Deacon Paul

Gospel Reflection Dec 17 – Deacon Don

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, December 17

The Third Sunday of Advent

John 1: 6-8, 19-28

Gospel:

A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.

And this is the testimony of John.
When the Jews from Jerusalem sent priests
and Levites to him
to ask him, “Who are you?”
He admitted and did not deny it,
but admitted, “I am not the Christ.”
So they asked him,
“What are you then? Are you Elijah?”
And he said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
So they said to him,
“Who are you, so we can give an answer to those who sent us?
What do you have to say for yourself?”
He said:
“I am the voice of one crying out in the desert,
‘make straight the way of the Lord,'”
as Isaiah the prophet said.”
Some Pharisees were also sent.
They asked him,
“Why then do you baptize
if you are not the Christ or Elijah or the Prophet?”
John answered them,
“I baptize with water;
but there is one among you whom you do not recognize,
the one who is coming after me,
whose sandal strap I am not worthy to untie.”
This happened in Bethany across the Jordan,
where John was baptizing.

Reflection:

Today, we celebrate Gaudete Sunday. We should take a breather from the waiting we do in Advent for the Incarnation and take a day to Rejoice. The season of Advent dates back to the fifth century. It was shortened from forty days to just four weeks in the ninth century. The Gaudate name dates back to its earliest days. It is meant for us to take time off from the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas to reflect and Rejoice in the many blessings we have been given. This season can become such an intense time for us, adding stress and occasionally creating overreactions to what would otherwise be considered our normal life.

Today, we wear the rose (not “pink”) vestments to emphasize that this day differs from the rest of Advent. In his 2014 Gaudete Sunday homily, Pope Francis said that Gaudete Sunday is known as the “Sunday of joy,” and that instead of fretting about all they still haven’t done to prepare for Christmas, people should “think of all the good things life has given you.” And why not? After all, John was sent to us by God. His voice in the desert can still be heard today, if we listen deeply to his message of hope. The daily noise we receive from the news and from our government leaders should remain just that, simply noise. We celebrated the feast of Christ the King only a few weeks ago reminding us that Our Lord will indeed return as King. This day also reminds us to Rejoice and know that we are indeed blessed with this knowledge. Despite all our troubles and struggles, joy can be experienced even in the midst of our sadness, if we put them behind us for just a day. Today is set aside for just that purpose.

God’s blessings to all of you and your families this Advent, this Christmas, and this New Year!

Deacon Don

Gospel Reflection Dec 10 – Deacon Frank

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, December 10

The Second Sunday of Advent

Mark 1: 1-8

Gospel:

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.”
John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
“One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Reflection:

It is with vivid image that Saint Mark chooses to begin his Gospel we will hear at this Sunday’s Mass by describing the coming of Jesus, God’s Son and anointed one. Isaiah’s prophesy that will be proclaimed in the 1st reading is being fulfilled in a new way: one more powerful than John the Baptist is coming to lead God’s people home, to set them free from the tyranny of sin and death to live in the homeland of God’s kingdom, which, Jesus, proclaims, is breaking into the world.

As we light the second candle of our Advent wreath, both within our own homes and here at St. Brigid of Kildare Parish, may we realize that the timeless message of Advent is that our patient God is the God who comes to us not just at Jesus’ birth, and not just at the end of time. God comes to us in our time of need, our time of exile, whenever we are lost in the wilderness of sin, fear or suffering. We are called simply to respond to the Good News that in Jesus Christ we meet the God whose coming sets us free and brings us home to our true selves.

May the Lord, who comes to us set us free, walk with you closely this day and in the days to come, so He may lead you in the paths of holiness.

Deacon Frank

Gospel Reflection Dec 3 – Sister Teresa

By | Gospel Reflections, Uncategorized | No Comments
Sunday, December 3

The First Sunday of Advent

Mark 13: 33-37

Gospel:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Be watchful! Be alert!
You do not know when the time will come.
It is like a man traveling abroad.
He leaves home and places his servants in charge,
each with his own work,
and orders the gatekeeper to be on the watch.
Watch, therefore;
you do not know when the Lord of the house is coming,
whether in the evening, or at midnight,
or at cockcrow, or in the morning.
May he not come suddenly and find you sleeping.
What I say to you, I say to all: ‘Watch!'”

Reflection:

The opening lines of today’s gospel passage reads: “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Be watchful! Be alert!” Instantly, I began singing one of my favorite Christmas Santa songs.

You better watch out.
You better not pout.
You better not cry,
I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is Coming to Town!

He’s making a list
and checking it twice,
Going to find out
whose naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town!

He sees you when you’re sleeping.
He knows when you’re awake.
He knows if you’ve been good or bad
So be good for GOODNESS sake.

Hey – I love this guy! If you sit with this song, you might hear echoes of Psalm 139, or the message of the prophets, maybe even a touch of John the Baptist.

Hey, I love this guy! If you sit with this particular song you might hears echoes of Psalm 139, or the message of the prophets, or maybe even a touch of John the Baptist.

When I was little I thought it was a warning . If I was good, I’d get presents . If I was bad, there would be presents. But that isn’t really what the song says. It urges us to be good for goodness sake. Now that puts a different spin upon the song, at least for me.

To be good … not for what I can get out of it.
To be good … not for what people will think about me.
To be good for one reason … To be good for GOODNESS sake.
To be good because that is how we were created.
To be good because that is what Jesus came to show us in the way he lived.
To be good for GOODNESS sake and who is GOODNESS if not the one we call God? We are urged to be good for GOD’S SAKE.

We begin Advent on December 3rd and Mark urges us to “be watchful; to be alert. You do not know when the time will come.”How often have we heard these words and receive them as vaguely threatening? That when we least expect it, God might call us home through death. Watch out! Be Alert! Don’t be caught unawares. Always be in the state of grace. Why? Is it because we fear eternal punishment? Are we afraid we might be put on the condemned list? Is that why we want to pay attention in life? I can’t live with that kind of threat, any more than I could live with thinking Santa was watching my every move waiting to catch me doing something wrong so he would end up putting me on the naughty list.

The song urged us to be good for Goodness sake and Mark’s words urge us to be watchful and alert because Jesus is coming to town. Jesus is always coming to town. If we are not paying attention, we miss the myriad of ways that God comes to us every single day. Maybe we will find him in a loved one, in a stranger, in ourselves, in prayer, in an unexpected blessing, in a quiet moment or even in a chaotic moment, even in a Christmas Santa song.

Advent reminds us that we wait for the Lord, and if we are not paying attention, we will miss him. How sad that would be!

Sister Teresa Tuite, OP

PS: Tell the truth -did you sing that Christmas Santa song or did you just read it?!

Gospel Reflection Nov 26 – Msgr. Hendricks

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, November 26

The Solemnity of Christ the King

Matthew 25: 31-46

Gospel:

Jesus said to his disciples:
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory,
and all the angels with him,
he will sit upon his glorious throne,
and all the nations will be assembled before him.
And he will separate them one from another,
as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
Then the king will say to those on his right,
‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father.
Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
For I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
a stranger and you welcomed me,
naked and you clothed me,
ill and you cared for me,
in prison and you visited me.’
Then the righteous will answer him and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you,
or thirsty and give you drink?
When did we see you a stranger and welcome you,
or naked and clothe you?
When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’
And the king will say to them in reply,
‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did
for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me.’
Then he will say to those on his left,
‘Depart from me, you accursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
For I was hungry and you gave me no food,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
a stranger and you gave me no welcome,
naked and you gave me no clothing,
ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.’
Then they will answer and say,
‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty
or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison,
and not minister to your needs?’
He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you,
what you did not do for one of these least ones,
you did not do for me.’
And these will go off to eternal punishment,
but the righteous to eternal life.”

Reflection:

The gospel for today, the last Sunday of the liturgical year 2017, is a familiar one. The scene is the end of the world when Christ comes in His glory to judge the world and those who have been faithful, and those who have not been. The understanding is about how we have treated others during our time on earth. The Corporal Works of Mercy are used as the measuring stick on how we are chosen for a place next to Jesus Christ or not.

This gospel is stark and frank. We are measured on how we have treated others, because the way we have treated others is the way we have treated Christ. The little ones, the unimportant ones, the poor, the widow, the stranger, all belong to Christ and in showing mercy to them we meet the Christ who will also come as judge for us.

While this gospel can be disconcerting it also calls us to start fresh again and when we have failed in the past to be Christ to others we have an opportunity today to start over and allow those we encounter to see the face of Christ in our face.

Msgr. Hendricks

Gospel Reflection Nov 19 – Deacon Chris

By | Gospel Reflections | No Comments

Sunday, November 19

Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 25: 14-30

Gospel:
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

Reflection:

If it we look at this parable in the larger context, we see the themes of good and bad servants, final division, reward and punishment, and the return of the master after delay. This parable focuses on the time we have here on earth. We do not know when the Lord will return. Our lives could end at any time or Christ could return for the final judgment at any moment. Matthew explains in this gospel what he means by being watchful or ready during this “in between time”.

We hope and desire that heaven will be our final resting place with the Lord. Consequently, our actions must be faithful to God’s instructions. This means we are to use all the abilities that God has entrusted to us in order to fill our time here on earth with deeds of love. Additionally, this parable specifically highlights the qualities of courage and fidelity. Being industrious and courageous with the gifts God has given us, allows us to give back to Him. Fidelity in small things leads to a much greater reward and intimate friendship with the Lord. Our faithful and whole-hearted commitment to the Lord through our actions will not go unseen.

Conversely, inactivity is condemned in this parable. It is clear that the demanding nature of the master and a fear of failure are unacceptable reasons for refusing to make an effort. Each of us can fail to meet Christ’s moral demands when we sin or through a lack of insight. Or, as in the case here, sheer inactivity and laziness are unfaithfulness to the Master. This parable emphasizes the essential aspect of the interaction between God’s free gift and our response. The disciple who “gives himself” fully to the gift God has given him will receive even a great reward. We are called to action within our spiritual lives or else we risk losing what we have. Let us ask God for the grace and strength to be courageous with the gifts he has given us, so that we may be good and faithful servants and enter into the joy of His kingdom when He comes to meet us again.

Deacon Chris Tuttle