November 16, 2016
by Cas Kestermeier
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 499

Revelation 4:1-11
Psalms 150:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6
Luke 18:35-43
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The opening and the closing of this Gospel passage seem, first, to imply a certain meaning to what Jesus offers here as a parable, but that need not concern us nor, secondly, should the more obvious meaning of the tale itself.  Let us ignore the first and assume that we understand at least the basics of the second and so pass on to something a little less hypothetical. 

God, who is the king figure here, puts certain monies in the hands of ten of his servants as he prepares to depart.  When he returns he asks for a reckoning of what three of these men had done with what he had given them.  He is not happy with the one who did nothing... and he takes the sum back: apparently this was not a gift.  The servant should have profited from what he received or at least tried to. 

God, in a similar manner, expects us to make an earnest effort to use what He has given us to make some sort of profit or to achieve some positive result.  It would seem that He does not worry so much about the success of the investment in terms of the monetary result (in terms of the parable) as about whether we are trying.  Our Father is rich enough and powerful enough for the question of profit not to be a problem.

The whole transaction here seems to be a test, since the two men get advanced in responsibility as a result of what they have done and they even get to keep the monies put in their hands.  More than a test, though, the king (or God) is training the men He trusted for these more advanced positions. 

I think that it is clear what this has to do with us and what God has given us, but what we see as positive and what we think unimportant or even negative. 

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