September 2, 2017
by Scott McClure
Creighton University's Magis Catholic Teacher Corps
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 430

1 Thes 4:9-11
Psalm 98:1, 7-8, 9
Matthew 25:14-30

Praying Ordinary Time

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“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.” (Matthew 25: 29)

Today’s Gospel tells of a master entrusting his talents to his servants upon embarking on a journey.  After he returns from his journey, he discovers that two of his servants have used their talents to acquire more while the servant given one talent buried it, returning it and only it to his master.  Despite the seeming alignment between “talent” in the ancient sense and our understanding of the word as a skill or ability, Bishop Robert Barron shares that a “talent” in this context represents a measurement of weight (e.g. of silver or gold) and that instead of representing an ability, the master’s talents are meant to represent the “weightiness” of God’s mercy.  Indeed, when we extend the mercy we receive from God to others it grows, just as the two faithful servants show.  When we hoard it, on the other hand, it ceases to bear fruit. 

I come from a family in which some deep injuries exist.  These injuries, made by family member against family member, are profound; the type that reach across generations and affect those not even born when they were committed.  The type that spawn subsequent injury of emotion, of memory, of relationship.  Perhaps you can relate to some deep hurt in your life or among your family or friends.  Extending mercy in these instances can seem impossible and maybe even unjustified.  Is it right to forgive or love someone who has done such wrong?  Offended us so deeply?  Is this letting them off the hook? 

The love and mercy of God have no limits or qualifications; not in their store nor in terms of where they are dispensed.  The Trinity shows this in God’s creation, in Jesus’ human example, and in the Holy Spirit’s continued accompaniment and inspiration of His Church.  Even Jesus – especially Jesus – can relate as, on the cross, he asked His Father’s forgiveness of those who nailed him to it. 

Can we do the same?  Can we exhibit love and mercy as radical as that to which our faith calls us?  Today this is my prayer for each of us, that God will grant us the grace to imitate His Son in this way.

To view Bishop Barron’s discussion on the Parable of the Talents follow this link.

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