• Wartakanlah Injil kepada segala makhluk.
    Mrk 16:15

  • 你们往普天下去, 向一切受造物宣传福音
    谷 16:15

  • Everything is possible by the power of the Holy Spirit’s Grace.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • Segala sesuatu menjadi mungkin dalam kekuatan karunia Roh Kudus.
    St. Arnold Janssen

  • 我当传教士不是为主牺牲,而是上主给我的最大恩赐
    圣福若瑟神父

  • Với sức mạnh Ân Huệ của Chúa Thánh Thần, Mọi việc đều có thể được.
    St Arnoldus Janssen

  • Preach the Gospel to the whole creation./Anh em hãy đi khắp tứ phương thiên hạ, loan báo Tin Mừng cho mọi loài thọ tạo
    Mk 16:15

  • There are many different gifts, but it is always the same Spirit.
    1 Cor 12:4

  • And the Word became flesh and lived among us.
    Jn 1:14

  • Let the word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you.
    Col 3:16

  • To proclaim the Good News is the first and greatest act of love of neighbour.
    St Arnold Janssen

  • 传扬天国福音是第一且最大的爱近人行动
    圣杨生•爱诺德神父

  • Có nhiều đặc sủng khác nhau, nhưng chỉ có một Thần Khí/
    1 Cor. 14:4

  • 圣言成了血肉,寄居在我们中间
    若 1:14

  • Ada rupa-rupa karunia, tetapi Roh satu
    1 Kor 12:4

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Friday, 17 November 2017 18:33

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time - 2017

Written by Fr Elmer Ibarra SVD

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 25:14-30

Fr Elmer Ibarra 150 BestImagine you got the windfall of a lifetime. You’ve just won the top prize in lotto, which was worth millions of dollars. What would you do with this windfall? Invest in a business? Spend like there’s no tomorrow? Deposit it to a bank? Or bury it under the ground with the hope that nobody will notice and live as if nothing happened?

The gospel for today is about a man who went on a trip and decided to entrust his possessions to his servants. Now during the time of Christ a “talent” is really quite an amount of money. A talent is a worth a man’s daily wage for fifteen years. So just imagine how much money was entrusted to the three servants. Even for the one who got one talent it is still an enormous amount of money. And yet even without instructions from their master, the first two servants went ahead with trading their money and in the end both of them ended up doubling their master’s money. While the third servant whom got only one talent ended up burying his master’s money with the fear that he might lose his master’s money if he traded it. And during those times, burying money in the ground was a common practice. Just refer to another parable of Jesus about a man who, upon discovering a buried treasure, ended up reburying the treasure and buying the whole plot in order to get the buried treasure (see Matthew 13, 44).

Then the master came back and was so pleased with the first two servants who traded his money and earned double from the business. However, the third servant, even if he explained why he buried the talent, he was called wicked and lazy and demanded that his one talent be given to the one who has five and have him thrown to the darkness where there’s weeping and grinding of teeth.

All of us have talents and they are not really our own, they are given, or should I say, entrusted by God to use them in a productive way and hopefully when God demands an accounting from us we have something to show to him - that we have used the talents that he has entrusted to us productively.

Let us conclude this reflection by using four points from William Barclay’s commentary on Matthew’s Gospel.

Firstly, if we notice that the master gave each servant different amounts of talent. It’s the same with us, we are all different and we have different talents. There might be some of us who are good in sports but struggle in business. There are some of us who are good in driving a car but would struggle in cooking. God would definitely not demand us use a talent that we don’t have. The only thing that we have to do is to make the most of the talent that we have. What is unfortunate about the third servant is that he knew that he was only given one talent and yet he failed to see what he can do with that. Remember if you have fifteen years in wages in your hands, that’s still a LOT of money.

Secondly, it is a fact that we never really “rest on our laurels” and enjoy life. While the first two servants were told to enjoy their master’s joy, they would still continue to do their work. It’s the same with us, we can’t really say to God, “Mission accomplished!” What we can only say to God after finishing one thing is “What’s next?” for there will always be things to do for God to last our whole lifetime.

Thirdly, if we think the master is harsh, we should think otherwise. I don’t think the master would punish the third servant if he traded the one talent and lost everything. I think he was punished because he didn’t do ANYTHING. The worst thing that we could do in life is not to try. He may have thought that I don’t have much but still it’s not a reason not to try. We should try to use what little talent that we have and with God’s help we might be able to double or even triple whatever we have, the only thing that we have to do is to try.

Lastly, we should remember that the more we are successful, the more responsibility will be given to us. Because it is a fact that if we don’t use our talent we will eventually lose it. Just imagine a basketball star, who after being on the top of his game decided not to play competitive basketball. Then later on he would realise that his skills have dulled after some time. And in order to get that back, he must go back and assert his skills again in the hope that he would regain his great form that made this basketball star famous. And all of us in whatever we do would have the same fate. We should continue to use our talent and even try to outdo ourselves. As they say, “Either you use it or lose it”.

May this gospel for this week be a reminder to us that God has been generous in giving us all different talents and skills. We should not forget though that all these don’t belong to us. We are only stewards of these talents and skills, and when the day of accounting finally comes, we should be able to show to God our produce or at the very least, we should show God how much we tried.