Risking It for Christ

Sunday, Nov. 14, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
•Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
•Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 
•1 Thes5:1-6
•Mt 25:14-30 

In the Gospel reading for this Sunday, Jesus tells a parable about a master who, before he leaves on a journey, entrusts his possessions to his servants. One receives five talents (about $1,000), another received two, and another, one. 

When the master returns, he finds out that the first two had doubled his money. He praises them saying, “Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy” (Mt 25:23). 

The third servant, however, hadn’t done anything with his money. Since he knew the master was demanding, out of fear he went off and buried his talent in the ground. The master told him, “You wicked, lazy servant! … 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" (Mt 25:27-29). 

God gives each of us different gifts and abilities. What matters are not the talents (no pun intended) that we have been given, so much as how we use them. The “wicked” servant wasn’t punished so much for not producing any money — he was punished for not trying at all. We may be tempted, at times, to act like the wicked servant, especially if we tend to think God has not given us very much. 

However, for special purposes, God often chooses those to whom He has given only a little. Saint Faustina wrote:

[W]hen we look at the history of the Church and see what great works were done by souls that were the least capable of accomplishing them; for it is just in this way that God’s works are revealed for what they are, the works of God. (464)

It doesn’t matter how little we think we may have. When we give what we do have to the Lord, when we try to please Him, He will multiply the fruit of our efforts.

The parable of the talents teaches us another essential Gospel truth: the more we give, the more we receive. We cannot experience the true love of God without giving Him what we have — without risking what we have. “Man finds himself only by making himself a sincere gift to others” (Gaudium et Spes, 24). The Gospel demands a lot from us. Any time we stand up for the truth, we risk our reputation. Any time we reject immorality, we risk suffering for the sake of the Gospel. Thankfully, the Lord is very generous. He will more than compensate us for any sacrifice we make for Him, if not in this life, then in the life to come. 

The “wicked” servant wasn’t willing to take any risks. As a result, he lost everything he had. The first two servants took risks. They could have lost everything and wound up with less than even the third servant. But in the end, the risks they took in service of their master proved worthwhile. 

The same will be true for us and our master, Jesus Christ. If you lose a lot for the sake of the Gospel, do not be afraid. Remember the good servants whose rewards and responsibilities were multiplied. Remember the servant who risked nothing, and lost everything. Don’t be afraid to take your chances on the Gospel. You'll never regret risking it for Christ. 

Photo by Sammie Vasquez on Unsplash



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