Matthew 25:14-30 Jesus said, "For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, `Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.' His master said to him, `Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, `Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.' His master said to him, `Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, `Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.' But his master replied, `You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' “
Reflection The slave who received five talents, went off, invested all of them and received five more. What an enormous leap of faith. What if he lost the five talents? What would his master do to him? Still, he risked everything, acted in faith and put all that he was given to work for his Master. And the Master was pleased. By contrast, the slave who received one talent was afraid, by clinging to the little he had he ended up with nothing. There it is, the bottom line. fear is the opposite of faith. Fear contracts, cuts us off from joy, from God’s kingdom on earth. Fear clearly is not the response desired by the master. (God)
Living as we do in God’s economy, like the slaves we are stewards of all that is given to us and we are expected to respond to God’s generosity with faith, not fear. As God’s stewards we are invited to take the risk and deepen our faith by giving more than is comfortable in faithful response to God’s generosity. Whether it is a little or a lot, every penny that we have is gift. And so we turn to God and pray, “Lord, how are you inviting me to respond to your generosity in my life?”
The slave in Matthew’s parable who invested everything he was given ended up with more than twice as much as he started. This is the economy of gift. This is the economy of the Church. This is God’s economy. It’s bottom line is not balance sheets and budgets. The mechanism of exchange is not quid pro quo, it is faith. Our faith is that God who has given us the capacity to live and breathe and experience our being will continue to gift us with all that we have, all that we are, and all that we need. So let's leap - in faith.
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