1st Reading: 1 Cor 1:26–31
Gospel: Mt 25:14–30
Jesus said to his disciples, “Imagine someone who, before going abroad, summoned his servants to entrust his property to them. He gave five talents of silver to one, then two to another, and one to a third, each one according to his ability; and he went away. He who received five talents went at once to do business with the money and gained another five. The one who received two did the same and gained another two. But the one with one talent dug a hole and hid his master’s money.
“After a long time, the master of those servants returned and asked for a reckoning. The one who received five talents came with another five talents, saying: ‘Lord, you entrusted me with five talents, but see I have gained five more with them.’ The master answered: ‘Very well, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in a few things, I will entrust you with much more. Come and share the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had two talents came and said: ‘Lord, you entrusted me with two talents; I have two more which I gained with them.’ The master said: ‘Well, good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in little things, I will entrust you with much more. Come and share the joy of your master.’
“Finally, the one who had received one talent came and said: ‘Master, I know that you are an exacting man. You reap what you have not sown and gather what you have not invested. I was afraid, so I hid your money in the ground. Here, take what is yours.’ But his master replied: ‘Wicked and worthless servant, you know that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not invested. Then you should have deposited my money in the bank, and you would have given it back to me with interest on my return.
“Therefore, take the talent from him, and give it to the one who has ten. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who are unproductive, even what they have will be taken from them. As for that useless servant, throw him out into the dark where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”
Fear kept the man who had been given but one talent from doing more than hiding it away for safekeeping. His fear would be his undoing, for the master expected much better things from him.
What keeps us from investing ourselves in the work of the Lord? What keeps us from taking a risk in extending help to the needy or offering a word of kindness to someone who is downhearted? What do we have to fear in extending ourselves in loving service? Does not the Lord promise to remain with us always as our strength and our help?
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