Investing the Talent of Faith, Saturday of the 21st Week of Ordinary Time (I), August 31, 2013

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Bernadette Parish, Fall River, MA
Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time, Year I
Votive Mass of Mary, Pillar of Faith
August 31, 2013
1 Thess 4:9-11, Ps 98, Mt 25:14-30

To listen to an audio recording of the homily, please click here: 

 

The following points were attempted in the homily:

  • Jesus calls us to grow in the Gospel, to examine our talents, invest them, and make them grow.
  • The greatest talents God gives us are not our own personal traits of academic or emotional intelligence, or musical or athletic ability, or even life experiences, but the greatest talents of all are the gifts of God. A talent was a weight measure at Jesus’ time and it was equivalent to 10,000 days wages. If a person today were grossing $100 a day ($12.50/hour), one talent would be worth $1,000,000. Five talents would be five million. It was, in other words, a tremendous gift entrusted to each of the people in the Gospel. When we look at the talents of the Word of God, of the opportunity to pray, of the Sacraments, we see that God has made us investment advisors to millions.
  • In this Year of Faith, we’re called to ponder, appreciate and invest the talent of the gift of faith. In the Parable, when the man entrusted with five talents made another five, and the one given two earned another two, the Master (representing God), said, “Well done, good and faithful servant. You’ve been faithful in little things. Now you will be entrusted with much. Enter into the joy of the Lord.” The Lord during this Year wants us to invest the talent of faith and help it to grow. We begin to do that by living with faith in the “little things” of each day, which help us to remain faithful in the big things.
  • In Lumen Fidei, the papal encyclical released two months ago, there are basically eight descriptions of faith in which we’re called to grow in this holy year. We’re supposed to grow in our personal entrustment to God and to the truths he’s revealed; in our seeing with the eyes of faith; in our hearing God’s voice and responding with the obedience of faith; in our being touched by God especially in the sacraments and reaching back to touch him with our heart; in our memory, recalling God’s fidelity and gifts in the past to help us grow in our trust of him in the present; in our recognition that faith is a life-long journey, an exodus, leaving our own old ways and Urs of the Chaldees to follow Christ on the Way of the Cross to heaven; in our comprehension that faith is a building project in which we become living stones in the spiritual temple that is the Church, built on Christ the cornerstone and the pillars of the apostles; and in our filial relationship with the Church, which mothers us in faith. In each of those ways, the Church is calling us to invest the talent of faith, so that our faith may grow, enriching us and others in the process.
  • How we live the Year of Faith is an indication of how seriously we take the responsibility for the talent of faith entrusted to us. We have the example of Mary, the Pillar of Faith, who shows us how to respond to faith to all the gifts God has given. We ask her to intercede for us that we may receive God’s grace to have our faith grow this year and beyond so that at the end of our life we may hear God the Father say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1
1 THES 4:9-11

Brothers and sisters:
On the subject of fraternal charity
you have no need for anyone to write you,
for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another.
Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia.
Nevertheless we urge you, brothers and sisters, to progress even more,
and to aspire to live a tranquil life,
to mind your own affairs,
and to work with your own hands,
as we instructed you.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 98:1, 7-8, 9

R. (9) The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Let the sea and what fills it resound,
the world and those who dwell in it;
Let the rivers clap their hands,
the mountains shout with them for joy.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.
Before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to rule the earth;
He will rule the world with justice
and the peoples with equity.
R. The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

Gospel
MT 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.
After a long time
the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents
came forward bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”