Your Talent Is Not Just To Be Kept Inside!

Weekly Missionary Reflection
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, 15 November 2020

Prov. 31:10-13,19-20,30-31; Ps. 128:1-2,3,4-5; 1Thess. 5:1-6; Matt. 25:14-30 (Matt. 25:14-15,19-21)

At the end of His work on this world, before “travelling on a journey” (v. 14), Jesus entrusts “talents” to His followers. Talent is a currency worth hundreds of million rupiah. It is said that the wages of workers in Palestine was 1 dinar/day at that time. One talent = 6000 dinars. So, the first, second and third servants is each entrusted with the trust equal to the wages of 100, 40 and 20 years of work! This large number shows the high value that Jesus entrust His followers, the gift of the Kingdom of God which we know as Good News (the Gospel)! This high value of gift demands responsibility from His followers. Before Lord’s coming, the disciples must be alert, by working with the given talents! Everyone must live according to the demand of the Kingdom of God and be involved in proclaiming and spreading the Good News according to his ability.

The first and second servant saw their relationship with their master as a trustworthy one (cf. the word “entrust” in vv. 14, 20, 22). Therefore, they are responsible and dare to take risk. They are the ideal of good and faithful servants, the qualified disciples of the Lord. In their hands, the grace of the Kingdom of God becomes a real working asset in practice, not just on paper or words. Their mission is fruitful, because the grace is continually added (vv. 28-29). They keep on sharing and transmitting love. What is received from Christ is really used for the advancement of humans and good sake of the society. They will be given the highest and eternal happiness before God (vv. 21 and 23).

Pay attention to how the third servant describes his master: “Sir, I know that you are a cruel man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you did not scatter” (v. 24b). He has a wrong image on his master! How could he say a person who had entrusted him with salary of 20 years of work as “cruel” and tyrannical? This wrong image makes him see his relationship with his master as a relationship of full of fear (v. 25). Fear makes him disrespect his abilities and find a safe way: to bury his talent in the ground! He is the servant who is fear to try, fear to take a risk and irresponsible. In the eyes of his master, he is a “cruel and lazy” servant. Hence, he is severely punished, according to his own description on his master! The talent is transferred to those who are more responsible, and he is thrown into the darkness.

The tragic fate of the third servant may make you and me aware that God’s grace must be used as working asset to risk our life and dare to take risk for the sake of establishing the Kingdom of God in this world. Excessive fear often makes us satisfied with the safe path. We then treat the Good News as a mere consumer goods and personal sanctity. Whereas, God’s grace and trust are too noble to be just hidden in our mind or buried in the religion part on the ID card.

(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)

DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER

Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.

Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:

For Evangelization intention:
Artificial intelligence: May all robotic technology advances and artificial intelligence can be controlled for the sake of its noble purpose, that is to serve the human and humanity. We pray …

For Indonesian Churches intention:
For fathers: May all fathers continue to realize their authority and wisdom as the head of the family in the midst of social current that eroding family life today. We pray …

Special Intention:
We present all of the people in our Diocese to willingly fight for the justice in every residence and work. We pray …

Amen

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