“BLESSED ARE ALL WHO FEAR THE LORD AND WALK IN HIS WAYS” (Ps 128:1)
????Prov 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5 (R.v.1a); 1Thess 5:1-6; Matt 25:14-30
With just one more Sunday to go in this Liturgical Year, the Church reminds us in practical terms the need to be ready at all times for the endtime when we shall be required to give an account of our lives. The tone of the Second Reading suggests that the Thessalonians were anticipating an imminent parousia (the second coming of Jesus) and were becoming confused over its delay and the death of their fellow brethren before the time. But the Gospel points to a kind of delayed parousia (Matt 25:19). Whether imminent or delayed, the theme that runs through all is on the need to live virtuous and fruitful life as the First Reading eulogises. St. Paul therefore tells us, as he told the Thessalonians, that if live in that way, we shall no longer be worried about the timing of the second coming of Jesus because, whenever he comes, he shall meet us ready.
What then is the content of a virtuous and fruitful life? The Gospel gives us a clue on that. Each of us is created with a talent or more from God. Nobody is born without a talent and no two people have the same talent. According to St. Paul, God has appointed in the Church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, then healers, helpers, administrators, speakers in various kinds of tongues (1 Cor 12:28). God expects us to use this talent to carry his command to the man in Gen 1:28, Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.
Unfortunately, some of us are like the third servant who failed to us the talent that was given to him, but buried it and left it unproductive (cf. Matt 25:18). Did you notice that in the list St. Paul provided above, none is termed, onlookers? God did not create you an onlooker. Look into your life and ask yourself whether you have even discovered your talent and how effective you are in the society with that talent.
As for those who have tried to discover their talents and use it well for virtuous purpose, the Lord tells them today, Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter the joy of your master (Matt 25:21). The psalmist makes us to understand that that joy of the master is not only in eternity but also in this world, thus affirming the theology of the already and yet-to-come of the kingdom of God. So, if you are a good and faithful servant (Matt 25:21), here is the prayer of the psalmist for you:
➕“You will eat the fruit of your toil, Amen
➕You will be blessed and prosper, Amen
➕Blessed be your wife, the fruitful vine of your house, Amen
➕Blessed be your children, the olive shoots around your table, Amen.
May the Lord open our eyes to see what we must do and may we never be found wanting when we shall be expected to give account of how we used our God given talent to work for him. Amen.
Peace be with you!