THEME: WE ARE GOD’S INVESTMENTS.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
‘Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Trade with these till I come.’
The message of the final weeks of the liturgical year is very clear; that we are all God’s investments, and on return we shall give account. We shall all account for what God has invested in us. Thus, the Gospel of today is set in the context of investments (Luke 19:11-28). A nobleman went into a far country to receive kingly power and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Trade with these till I come’. Two of the servants earn 100 percent returns by trading with the funds, but the third servant hides the money in the ground and earns nothing. The King rewards the two who made money, but severely punishes the servant who did nothing.
The meaning of the parable extends far beyond financial investments. God has given each person a wide variety of gifts, and He expects us to employ those gifts in His service. It is not acceptable merely to put those gifts on a closet shelf and ignore them. Like the three servants, we do not have gifts of the same degree. The return God expects of us is commensurate with the gifts we have been given. The last servant was not condemned for failing to reach the ten-pounds goal; he was condemned because he did nothing with what he was given.
The gifts we receive from God include skills, abilities, family connections, social positions, education, experiences, and more. The point of the parable is that we are to use whatever we have been given for God’s purposes. The severe consequences to the unproductive servant, far beyond anything triggered by mere business mediocrity, tell us that we are to invest our lives, not waste them
Sometimes Christians speak as if growth, productivity, and return on investment were unholy to God. But this parable overturns that notion. We should invest our skills and abilities, but also our wealth and the resources made available to us at work, all for the affairs of God’s kingdom. This includes the production of needed goods and services. The volunteer who clears the streets is fulfilling this parable. So are the entrepreneur who starts a new business and gives jobs to others.
God does not endow people with identical or necessarily equal gifts. If you do as well as you can with the gifts given to you by God, you will hear his “Well done.” Not only the gifts, but also the people have equal worth. At the same time, the parable ends with the talent taken from the third servant being given to the one with ten talents. It is the truth of eternal value that those who claim not to have, what they have will be taken from them. Equal worth does not necessarily mean equal compensation. Some positions require more skill or ability and thus are compensated accordingly. The two servants who did well are rewarded in different amounts. But they are both praised identically. The implication of the parable is that we are to use whatever talents we have been given to the best of our ability for God’s glory, and when we have done that, we are on an equal playing field with other faithful, trustworthy servants of God.
Finally, it is instructive to note that the servants all receive their talents at the same time. However, the result of one is never used for the other. We are all responsible for our choices and however we use our gifts. Irresponsible people blame others except themselves for everything. They blame their family, colleagues, the state, and practically everything for their failure. Blame games will never exonerate us. God is an investor and He needs returns on investments.GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world and land, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.