Jesus confirms despite differences in men’s talents every man must be fruitful or face eternal punishment in the Parable of the Talents. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by pursuing the Virtue of Justice so he can respect the dignity and differences in men and by building the Virtue of Orderliness so he can grow and use his God-given talents to build Christ’s Holy Catholic Church. 

Liturgy

33rd Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 25:14-30

Commentary

Having exhorted men to be watchful and prepared for His coming as the Passion draws near, Jesus continues His teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven in The Parable of the Talents by revealing what He expects from His disciples. Jesus Christ (the master) has entrusted the Gospel (wealth/talents) to His disciples (slaves; often mis-translated as “servant”) and expects men to lead others to the Kingdom (return on investment). Jesus (the master) gives each man (slave) gifts (talents), each receiving varying levels of gifts (talents of 5, 3, 1), with all receiving substantial gifts (each talent is equal to several million in today’s dollars).

Each man (slave) will be called before Jesus (the master) to account at the Judgment (master comes to settle accounts). Men (slaves) who deliver outstanding results (100% return on talents) are enthusiastically acknowledged (“Well done”) and rewarded (“enter your Master’s joy”) by Jesus (the master) and given more responsibility in the building of the Kingdom (“will set you over much”).

Men who fail to offer Jesus a return (the slave who buries 1 talent) because of fear of responsibility, stupidity (did not put the talent in the bank) or laziness (slothful) will be harshly rebuked (“wicked”), stripped of responsibility (talent taken away) and cast into Hell (“outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth”).

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Consider the demanding expectations Jesus, the Divine King, sets for His men: with Divine Knowledge, Jesus purposefully crafts this parable to confirm the eternal consequences of men’s lives, using both Encouragement and Fear to motivate His men; the perfection of Diligence (a part of Justice), Jesus, as demonstrated by His example of extreme toil and sacrifice to build the Kingdom, confirms the high expectations He has for His men; the perfection of Prudence, Jesus grants each man specific talents and calls each man to a personal mission consistent with his talents; Divine Judge, using Vindication (a part of Justice), Jesus evaluates each man’s diligent use of the talents He gave them, rewarding the good with lavish rewards, allowing them to enter into His Joy, and punishing the wicked (slothful, cowardice) with Harshness, Condemning them to Hell.

Respect the dignity and differences of men

Realize: While many today are seeking to gain power to force an unjust equality in outcomes, such as equal wages and equal distribution of education or jobs regardless of a person’s capabilities and effort, Jesus makes it clear men have different worldly capabilities, are not equal in their potential, and are vastly different in their willingness to excel.

Believe: Reflect upon Equality and Differences among Men (CCC 1934-1938).

Pray: Jesus, Perfection of Justice, help me build the Virtue of Justice so I respect the inherent dignity of every soul, I oppose sinful inequalities that deprive people of freedom and basic necessities, I reject efforts to unjustly reward or punish people, I joyfully accept differences in people, and I treat all men justly, even those who are slaves to sin, rebel against You, and hate Your Holy Catholic Church. 

Grow and use your talents to build the Church

Realize: In this parable, Jesus reveals that every Catholic man is choosing his eternal destiny every day by how he uses the talents Christ has given him.

Believe: Reflect upon Talents (CCC 546, 1879-1880, 1936-1937, 2427, 2501).

Pray: Jesus, Granter of Talents, help me grow in the Virtue of Orderliness (a part of Temperance) so that I cultivate the talents You have given me in an orderly way by  recognizing, cataloging, and diligently applying my talents in a systematic way to build Your Kingdom.