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33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – 19 November 2023

Matthew’s Gospel presents a parable that carries profound lessons about the utilization of God’s gifts and the pursuit of wisdom. This passage encourages us to reflect on how we manage the talents and abilities entrusted to us by the Divine, and how our choices can either lead us towards a life of purpose or down a path of missed opportunities.

In this parable, a master entrusts his servants with various talents, each according to their abilities. The servants who received five and two talents put them to work and doubled their assets, while the one who received only one talent buried it out of fear. The master praised the diligent servants for their wise use of his gifts, but the fearful servant was cast into the darkness.

The reading inspires us to consider the way we steward the gifts and resources God has bestowed upon us. It highlights the importance of recognizing our unique talents and abilities, and the responsibility that comes with them. Just as the diligent servants multiplied their talents, we are called to invest our gifts, be it time, skills, or resources, wisely. Through proactive and purposeful action, we can grow and make a positive impact on the world.

The challenging aspect of this parable lies in the fear and hesitancy of the one who buried his talent. Many of us can relate to times in our lives when we’ve hesitated to take risks or remained complacent. Our desire for a ‘quiet life’ or a fear of failure can lead us to squander our potential. This reluctance to embrace opportunities and fulfil our true purpose can ultimately distance us from the richness of a meaningful life and separate us from the divine feast of eternal life.

We must overcome this fear and idleness, recognizing that God’s gifts are meant to be shared and developed, not hidden away. By cultivating our talents and using them for the betterment of others, we not only fulfil our purpose but also draw closer to the divine purpose set before us.

This Gospel serves as a powerful reminder that God’s gifts are meant to be utilized for the greater good. It calls us to action, wisdom, and the embrace of our unique talents. Simultaneously, it serves as a stark warning against complacency and fear, urging us to avoid becoming isolated in the darkness of our own limitations. By recognizing our talents, utilizing them wisely, and conquering our hesitation, we can ensure that we draw closer to the feast of eternal life that God has prepared for us.

Fr Stephen Berecz

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