Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
November 16, A.D. 2008
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
Matthew 25:14-30 or 25:14-15, 19-21
A reflection on today's Scripture:
Each year as we celebrate the Feast of All Saints and All Souls' Day, we are reminded of the Day of Judgment when we must all give an accounting of our lives on this earth. It can easily strike fear in our hearts if we have not been faithful to the commandments of God and the precepts of the Church. The readings for this Sunday give more insights into just what the Father expects of us during our journey home.
While the story Jesus tells about a man on a journey seems quite simple and clear, it can easily be misunderstood. On the surface, while it seems to be solely about our responsible use of money (talents), it suggests much more when we search out its full meaning.
First of all, the Man in the journey is Jesus Himself who is on a journey to His Passion and Death. The servants are His disciples, from the twelve apostles to His present-day followers. The five, two and one talents are not just casual bonuses, but the whole package of the gifts of God's Spirit, including the gift of faith, the call to discipleship, and the individual "talents" or charisms for ministry that are unique to each.
The Master does not expect the same return on one's money, but only that of which each person is capable. However, it is true that the risk is higher for those with the five talents than for those with only one talent. The same is true of followers of Jesus who are more capable than others of serving the Church and society. They must always be sensitive to the words of Scripture: "To whom much is given, much will be expected." They must never allow selfish living, or indifference or fear of failure to keep them from a generous spirit and generous deeds. Especially, it seems, does Jesus condemn the fears that cause the man with one talent to bury, rather than invest, his money. Neither must we allow fear of risk to paralyze us from sharing our faith and convictions with our brothers and sisters, nor from growing ourselves in knowledge and love of God.
Our second reading today sums it all up well:
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief at night. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do, but let us stay alert and sober.
(see 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6)
If we replace fear with confident trust in God's patience with us, and live as children of the light, we need never fear the final judgment.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, November 16, 2008
Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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