Scripture : Lectionary 430. Aug. 31. I Thessalonians 4:9-12; Psalm 88:1,7-8,9. Matthew 25:14-30:
Love for one another is emphasized by Paul throughout his letter to this cooperative community and church of Thessalonica. It is love that strengthens the believers and helps them to witness to the Gospel among the non-believers. Love begins at home and the home for the believers is the community and church that Paul is addressing and exhorting in this firs writing of his. Outsiders will be attracted to join in this community of love and faith and be led to follow the Lord Jesus. It is their putting their faith to work and their love for these neighbors who experience their witness to Jesus that will bring them to be a part of the church. They have learned well from Paul; he is merely confirming them by his epistle. We are amazed how fresh the message is and how it speaks to us about our faith in Jesus and our love for one another. This is a sure sign of an inspired work of the Holy Spirit coming from Paul, the apostle to the nations.
Jesus’ parable about the three who were entrusted with the resources of the Lord speak to me about servant leadership. All three were given gifts that the Lord expected them to put to use and to make them grow. We may want to reflect on which of the three we are : the first one is given a lot of gifts to share with the community; the second one is given a lesser number of gifts; and finally the third one has the least, but all have received them from a very generous Lord. I think I would fit the second one and recognize that I often do use my gifts not for myself but for others. The third one is afraid of the Lord and hides his gifts and talents, therefore, he is not a good servant leader according to the parable. The parable forces us to think about how important it is to cooperate with the Lord in the work entrusted to us and to grow while using those gifts for the common good or the community to which we belong.
The first two servant leaders are trusting of their Lord, they are faithful to his expectations to put the gifts to use; they risk using them to help increase the appreciation for what they have received from the Lord, and they are believing in the Lord for their success. This ultimately brings joy to the Master who bestowed these talents and gifts on them.
We may wish to think more about this parable by seeing what Luke says in 19:11-27 ( a parallel of Luke with a few nuances that are different but belong to the same oral tradition called the Q Source (sayings of Jesus found in both Matthew and Luke who did not depend on one another and know one another). It may also have a foundation in the Gospel of Mark 4:25. The Gospels may present the same parable in different social locations with express needs of the community being addressed; all three would be different communities that the Synoptic authors were addressing. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.