33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
November 19, 2023: Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; I Thes 5:1-6; Mt 25:14-30
"Well done, my good and faithful servant!... Come and share the joy of your master”
This penultimate Sunday of the liturgical year reminds us not only of the end of the liturgical year but also of the end of all things and of the preparations we need to make to reach Heaven. The main theme of the three readings is an invitation to live in such a way that we make the best use of the talents God has given us, so that at the hour of our death Our Lord will say: “Well done, my good and faithful servant!... Come and share the joy of your master” Mt 25: 21).
In the parable of the talents this week, Jesus gives a stern warning: discipleship does not promise complete safety. On the contrary, true disciples are called to take risks and venture beyond the known and the secure, trusting in His grace. Hence Jesus challenges us to ask the questions: Are we using our talents and gifts primarily to serve God, and neighbor, and so do God’s will? In short, the parable of the talents challenges us to do something positive, constructive and life-affirming with our talents here and now. Make Hay while the sun shines!!
Life Message: In the New Testament times, people were more concerned with "times and seasons" of Christ’s second coming than with living their Faith. Paul assured his readers that it was foolish to worry about the "day of the Lord" (v 2). Instead of expecting an imminent Parousia, Christians should always "stay alert and sober,” (v 6), doing their duties faithfully. “We belong neither to darkness nor to night; therefore, let us not be asleep like the rest, but awake and sober!” (vs 5-6). Indeed, most of us are clearly very gifted with valuable abilities, and so we should be always willing to share our talents in creative worship in the Church and innovative educational events in Sunday School. We can fulfill needs we will find right in our parish: feeding the hungry, visiting the sick or the elderly, Vacation Bible Schools, homeless, and welcoming strangers in our midst.
Conclusion: In the 2nd reading, Paul means that our wholehearted dedication to the responsibilities of Christian living will earn for us the Lord's praise at the Final Judgment. Then, he reminds us that the children of light are destined not for wrath but for salvation when the Lord comes. Moreover, he warns us that the Day of the Lord will come "like a thief in the night" (v 4), when we least expect it. Thus, we should keep awake and be sober, encouraging and building each other up as we wait for the “Day of the Lord.” Only those who live each day to the fullest will be ready when Jesus' special Day arrives. We should, therefore, step out, with confidence, believing that every God-given gift we have is going to be exceedingly useful and fruitful!