33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 19/11/2023 - Gospel: Mt 25: 14-30
Before going away, a master entrusted his wealth in the form of talents to his servants for them to make an investment for him. He gave the first servant five talents; the second one three and the third one talent. Talent in this context denotes a particular gift or ability that a person is given. The parable tells us that we are not created with equal skills; and memory; health and longevity. We are born with different gifts from person to person. This implies we need to share our gifts to build up a prosperous, just, and peaceful society. The sharing of talents helps us to obtain more skills from others. We are free to employ different methods to develop our gifts. The text mentions no documents or bonds to say the master trusted his servants without question. The master's action shows that love and trust are his first priority; success in investment must flow from that love and trust. He expects his servants to love and trust him in return. No sowing, no harvest, success happens with labour. Without taking risks nothing is being done. Living itself is a risk; because we have very little control of tomorrow. We have no control over the outcome of our labour. The master knows our limitations. He would not judge us for our integrity, but only judge for insincerity.

Sometime later, the master returned, and the servants who received five talents and three talents, earned one hundred percent returns by trading with the funds. The master was very pleased with them. In his delight, he said, 'well done, good and faithful servants'. He praised them for their goodness and faithfulness and entrusted them more. Obviously, the master doesn't care about success, but goodness and faithfulness- Good and faithful. The third servant received one talent; he buried it and earned nothing. The master judged the third servant according to his own words.

'I had heard you were a hard man,... So I was afraid and hid your talent in the ground' Mt 25,24.

Surprisingly, the third servant confessed that he didn't know his master. He only heard others talk about his master. He had faith not in his master; but believed others. Where there is no trust; there would be no love, or commitment. The third servant's hearsay made him live in fear. Fear paralysed him. It stopped him from being positive, and doing good work. He wasted not just his talent, but more importantly he had wasted his entire life- living in fear, unhappy. The master cared not about the amount of profit made, whether big or small. He would accept anything. The third servant made no profit whatsoever. His master punished him for wasting his talent and his life. We need to avoid that type of wasteful behaviour. We need to make use of whatever talents we have received or obtained. They all belong to God. They are God's gifts. We need to use them not simply for our own interest, but to give glory to God, and for the common good.

We are free to choose whatever method we would like to do, but it must yield good results. This shows we trust God and live for God's purpose. When we conduct our lives in that manner; we will hear the voice of the master:

'Well done, good and faithful servants'.

Avoid being wasteful of our gifts and talents at all costs, because it leads to gloom and doom this life and the next. We need to be a person with good motivation in life, useful for society, and for the Church in the world. Our purpose in life is not simply to pass time. No, we live a life with a specific purpose and that is to give glory to God; and be useful for our fellowmen.