01Sep 01 Sept. Saturday of Week Twenty One

1 Cor 1:26ff. God chose the world’s despised, so that our wisdom, justice, and holiness would centre on Jesus.

Matthew 25:14ff. Those who make good use of their talents are rewarded; whoever buries his talents is blamed.

Talents are for Using

The gist of today’s parable is the paradox that the haves will get more, while the have-nots will lose even the little that they have. Like an motor or a machine, God’s gifts must be kept in use, in order to stay in good condition; non-use leads to stagnation, sticky parts and clogged valves. Physical and spiritual life quickly degenerates if kept in isolation and dark confinement. But the wrong use of life, gifts also destroys them, even more quickly than non-use. Today’s readings enable us to balance and integrate these factors in the use of our talents.

The Bible is just one part of the total process of arriving at the will and purpose of God. As we trade with our precious heritage of Sacred Scripture, we interact with personal, family, society and church expectations. We pray for the enlightenment of God’s spirit, but also seek advice and draw on experience. In this way, those who have traded and interacted and engaged in dialogue will get more, while those who have not traded and interacted are in danger of losing the little they have.

Paul gives us another norm and impetus for reaching outward for help in trading with the gift of Sacred Scripture. Jesus is our sanctification, for he attracts our best self; and his cross is our redemption, so that we form one living person with Jesus, our elder brother, whose spirit and example we try to follow in everything.

First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

For consider your call, brethren; not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth; but God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, whom God made our wisdom, our righteousness and sanctification and redemption; therefore, as it is written, “Let him who boasts, boast of the Lord.”

Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30

“Think of a man, going on a journey, who summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! So you knew that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’