33rd Sunday Ordinary Time
November 19, 2017
This Sunday’s gospel has a familiar ring to it: a rich man gives talents out to each of his servants and then goes off on a long journey (Matthew 25:14-20). He loans each person different amounts to invest. Later, he comes back to see how they did. Those who did well he puts in charge of many things and invites into the house to share the master’s joy.
Jesus spends a great deal of time on the subject of wise investing. Of course, many in our world are very interested in making lots of money, and seem to do very well, but unless we know the rules of the game of life, we are very likely to be betting on the wrong horse in the end. Jesus wants us to be successful in our investing, so that one day we will receive that which really belongs to us.
The first thing Christ teaches us in this gospel is that in this life we are in fact investing someone else’s money. All of our gifts, talents and wealth have been lent to us, precisely to see how we will use it. Later, when the game is over, we have to put everything back in the box. No one gets to keep the temporary investments of this life.
Life is first and foremost an exam, a kind of test. Our Lord has given us different talents and abilities, income and possessions. He gives us time, a lifespan in which to use these things. He has given us our families, community members, co-workers and fellow students to interact with. He also gives us trials, crosses and challenges to make use of and offer to him. So, he lends us all of this and then goes off on a “journey”, allowing us time and freedom to make our own choices, our own investments. The purpose of the game is to establish our place in the next life and the person that we will be in that place. If we lose sight of this, we can end up making the wrong choices.
We are all called to invest in the Lord’s will in our lives. Is my life pleasing to God? How do I use my time? Is there time for God each day? How do I spend my free time? Do I share with others? How do I use my possessions? Am I willing to share? If I am in a position of power, am I compassionate or self-serving? How do I spend my money? Primarily on myself, or am I generous with others and with my church?
No one should think that just because they have received fewer “talents” than others that they have nothing to contribute. The Lord isn’t interested in how much we have accumulated with the graces he gives us, but rather whether we have really tried.
Am I a wise investor? How do I use my talents?