“I tell you, that to everyone who has will more be given; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26)
Our Gospel passage today is very similar to what we read from Matthew’s Gospel on Sunday. Luke tells us that: “Jesus proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.” In other words, Jesus told this parable to teach that His second coming is not going to happen immediately and that while we wait, we must get busy.
Truly, the best way to wait for anything is to be busy. An idle mind coupled with an absence of work is the devil’s workshop. Jesus will come again but while we expect Him, we must not forget that He wants to find us busy when He comes. Do you realize that even while Jesus was alive, people were already expecting the world to end? Our focus should be on how we must use the talents, gifts and opportunities available to us.
Unlike Matthew’s version where three servants were given talents according to their unique abilities, the ten servants in today’s Gospel passage were given one pound each. This points to the radical equality of God’s gifts to us. No one is useless in this life and no one can claim to be luckier than another. In reality, this one pound can be understood as the gift of life itself which we tend to take for granted. No human being has more than one life and no one has less.
As much as we are all equal in terms of life, God has given us the freedom to choose how we make use of this great gift. From the same one pound, one servant produced ten more, another produced five, but there was one who kept his in a napkin. In this parable, Jesus is basically telling us not to be like him; not to allow our lives to waste in the name of waiting for Jesus’ coming.
There is something about this servant who hid his master’s pound in a napkin. He loved to complain, he had something negative to say about everyone. Even the Master was not spared. He accused the master of being a severe man who loved to reap where he has not sown. He didn’t realize the potentials of the pound he was holding in a napkin.
There are some persons who have also hidden their lives in a napkin. They only see the negative side of things. They are so full of complaints that they fail to realize their potentials; they are not able to see what they are capable of becoming. The servants who made ten and five more pounds also had reasons to complain, they also knew that the master was a severe man and so on, but they made something of their one pound. One great man said: “The law of gravity did not have to change for human beings to learn how to fly in the sky.” Everything doesn’t have to be perfect before you can thrive.
In today’s first reading, John narrates his visions of heaven. It is from him that we got those words we always say (and sometimes sing) at every Mass: “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (Revelation 4:8). In heaven, the only work we shall be doing is singing praises and worshipping God. To sing and praise God is the best activity anyone can be doing even in this world. We must get used to it now so that heaven will not be a boring place for us. Above all, we must employ our talents to advance God’s kingdom on earth.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, help me to make the best use of my little time on earth while I await your second coming. Amen.
Bible Study: Revelation 4:1-11 Psalm 150:1-6 and Luke 19:11-28).