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Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today we have a worldly parable with a spiritual meaning. It seems to be all about money and investment: the master expected a return for the talents and even suggested that the third servant should have put his in the bank and gained interest, a practice that was forbidden for the Jewish community in several books of the Old Testament. However, like many of his parables, Jesus was conveying an underlying message. Using the image of money, he made clear to his audience the extent of the investment that God has made in us.

His Son gave completely of himself, as the master in the parable distributed his wealth to his servants. He has won our salvation and it is our responsibility to further his kingdom, by using the gifts that have been given to us. St Paul refers to this in his epistle to the Romans (12:3-8) where he talks about the body working as a system in which each has its own part to play. He goes on to speak about using our aptitudes for whatever work for which we are suited: teaching, prophecy, ministry and anything else which contributes to the spreading of God’s Kingdom. Parishes thrive when people are asked to do the things that they are good at.

If we profess Christianity but doing nothing to spread the Good News, we become like the servant who buried what he had in the ground. Revelation 3:18 refers to the church in Laodicea: “ because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

“Teach me to serve you as you deserve.” (from the prayer of St Ignatius Loyola)