Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daily - 11/17/10

Luke 19:11-28

11 While they were listening to him speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of God would appear there immediately.

12 So he said, "A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.

13 He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, 'Engage in trade with these until I return.'

14 His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, 'We do not want this man to be our king.'

15 But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading.

16 The first came forward and said, 'Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.'

17 He replied, 'Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.'

18 Then the second came and reported, 'Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.'

19 And to this servant too he said, 'You, take charge of five cities.'

20 Then the other servant came and said, 'Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,

21 for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding person; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.'

22 He said to him, 'With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding person, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant;

23 why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.'

24 And to those standing by he said, 'Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.'

25 But they said to him, 'Sir, he has ten gold coins.'

26 'I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

27 Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.'"

28 After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.

This is Luke's version of the parable of the talents. There is a parallel passage at Matthew 25:14-30. There's a good video reflection on this passage at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops Website ( )

Whether we are aware of it or not, God gives us everything that we have, and it is up to us to make what we will of those gifts. We can squander and spend what we have on "the world". We can invest and build heavenly treasures. For most of us, life is a combination of both. Over time, hopefully we start to get it, and spend effort on the former, and more on the latter.

God starts us out small, with small gifts and small tasks. If we prove that we are worthy of his trust, we are given more and more (ie, to those who have, more is given).

We need to pay close attention to what happens to the man who took his coin close and hid it. This might seem to be prudent. But note that the man is hiding the gift out of fear of what will happen to him if the master sees him waste it. Also note that this is in direct disobedience to the Master, who told him to use the coin to engage in trade.

God did not put us here to be fearful of spiritual things, or even to be passive. He also did not put us here to have our faith be simply between us and Him. Our faith is to be used to grow and build the riches of the kingdom. If we do that, we will be given more.

On a personal level, this makes me look at what I'm doing with what I have been given. I have been given a handful of coins. I WILL have to answer to the Lord Almighty for what I do with them.