33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Nov. 15, 2020

33A20.    Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31.  “When one finds a worthy wife, her value is far beyond pearls.  Her husband, entrusting his heart to her, has an unfailing prize.”  A worthy wife means that she is a woman of great worth.  With her he has a spectacular thoughtful gold mine of a woman. She is unbounding riches, a treasure of boundless productivity.  She is a bonanza of goodness who makes the ultimate use of the capabilities that God has given her.  That is what today’s Gospel calls us to.

Matthew 25:14-30.   Life is a gift that we were not able to ask for, since no one can ask for anything if someone is not living.  While life is a gift, it is at the same time a demand, that we live the life that we have been given and live it to the fullest. In giving us life, God gives or shares with us something of his very self, as a mother shares something of herself in giving life to her child.  Our gospel parable says that the master “entrusted his possessions to them.” In this case his possessions are what belongs to the master, in the sense that his possessions are a share in what makes up who he is.

He shared his possessions “to each according to his ability”, so that each person had the capacity to develop or grow those possessions or gifts.  They are gifts or talents that enable us to make something more of ourselves, likes seeds that have the capacity to grow, so to develop us, and so make us more of who our master is. The master has great joy which he shares with his servants when he sees his servants mature by developing their God-given gifts, as does a parent who sees ones’ children develop beautifully and graciously.  The servants who were productive with the talents or gifts given them saw or viewed this as an opportunity or privilege from which they and their master could benefit.  On the other hand, the servant who buried his talent or gift saw this as a threat issued to him by a master whom he feared.  The servant who refuses to live his God-given life to the fullest but instead buries his potential to develop and grow is choosing to bury his life, his very self.  The choice is to move up or down but never to stand still in the same place.  That, of what God gives us and we do not use, withers or is lost.  God no longer puts any more of his efforts or grace in those who refuse to grow in Christ.  Instead God puts even more of his grace into those who choose to be productive.  Why should God waste his time and effort on what is useless?   “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich” in the abundance of God’s goodness in him.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6.  “The day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.”  “The day of the Lord’ is the day when Jesus comes the second time at the end of the universe but also can be the day when the Lord calls us individually from this world.  Jesus said in the parable of the ten virgins, “Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:13)

“For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.”  The children of the darkness refuse to take seriously that we can be called to face our Judge at any time.  Readiness is to live every moment in the Lord who is the light.