Duties and Responsibilities

November 19, 2017
33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
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.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

Reflection (Mr. Miguel Josemaria C. Valeroso)

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In the seminary, there is a value in both consoling and trying, comforting and terrorizing. We call it batch spirit. It is a fact of life that we entered the doors of the seminary together with other men. We came from different families, fields of work, places of residence, and with different beliefs, personalities and habits; and we were gathered by the one Spirit to form one batch that would hopefully be our companions until we finish our seminary formation. We complement each other’s strengths and fill in for each other’s weaknesses.

In today’s Gospel, the Lord tells the parable where servants have been given talents according to each one’s abilities. It tells us how each of us is responsible to make the most out of the graces given to us by God, for His glory and for the good of the Church, so that in the end, each of us may share in His joy in heaven.

To say that the one given the five talents and the one with the two should have helped the one with one talent would be too much of a stretch. There is however much to be said about what our talents are and how we use them. Usually, we only see our talents as our own abilities and skills. We often fail to consider that those around us – our family, friends, batchmates, co-workers, neighbors, etc. – are also here given to us by God to be united and work with.
In the parable, the first two servants went off at once and traded. They had to work with someone else to further the interest of the Master. Thus, let us assess our God-given talents including the people we can work with. Alone, we can only do so much. Alone, we will be burying our talents.

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