Homily for the Thirty-third Sunday, year A.

Jesus tells another parable today, a very familiar one with beautiful messages. It is a parable popularly referred to as the parable of the talents. Even though this parable was originally directed at the Scribes and especially the Pharisees, it remains the word of God that is alive and active. It is the word of God that addressed our fathers, addresses us today and will address generations to come.

In this parable, Jesus says that a man on his way abroad summoned his servants and entrusted some money (Talent) to them, each in proportion to his ability. Note that he did not tell them what to do with it. The servant who got five talents traded with it and got five more, same with the servant who got two talents, he too traded and got two more. But the one who got a talent decided to dig a hole and hide the talent because he felt his master was a hard man who reaps where he has not sown.

When the master returned, he rewarded the first two servants, they were welcomed into their master’s happiness; the same happiness even though they did not make the same amount of money. The servant who hid his master’s money was punished, and what he had was taken from him. He would have also enjoyed his master’s happiness if he had made any effort, even to get a talent more, but he buried it just as so many Christians today are buring their talents.

There is an adage that says, when a leaf stays close to a soap for some period of time, it begins to foam like soap. That was exactly what the master wanted, he expected his servants to be like him since they’ve stayed with him for some time. The master was obviously a business man who knew how to invest money into business. If he were a kind of man who buries his money, he would have buried his money without giving them to his servants. He gave them because he expected them to trade with it just as he would have done himself.

Same is true with us, we are expected to foam like the soap. We are Christians, we have been with Christ, and we call him our Lord and God and so are expected to be like him. He has given us talents, different kinds of gifts in proportion to our abilities; what do we do with them? We know our gifts, we know what the Lord has endowed us with, and how do we use them for the glory of God? Many are great teachers, yet we lack those to teach catechism in our parishes. There are other great and beautiful talents we are blessed with, how do we put them to use, how do we use them in our worship of God. If we don’t use them well, then it means we have buried them like the servant who got a talent.

There are those who have handed their talents over to the devil to be used for the destruction of mankind, they are very smart and intelligent, but they defraud people with it. Some others are very eloquent and sound convincing whenever they talk, but they use it to destroy others and themselves. That was what happened to the servant with the one talent, he did not see or say anything good or positive about his master, all he observed was that his master was a hard man and reaps where he did not sow. In this so called difficult master, the other servants found favour. They found favour because they did not focus on the weakness of their master but on their own abilities.

In our spiritual journey, we are sometimes tempted to lose focus, to become so much aware of other people’s mistakes and not knowing that we ourselves have derailed. Let us therefore remain focus in our race to heaven, to cherish every gift from God and use them to promote the kingdom of God on earth. These gifts are like the perfect wife in our first reading this morning, they must be cherished and used for the glory of God.

 

Rev. Fr. Joel Okojie OSA

Joel Okojie is an ordained Catholic Priest in the Order of St. Augustine. He has been a Priest for over a decade. He served as pastor in two different parishes, he was one time Novice Master and a member of the Provincial Council of the province of St. Augustine of Nigeria, and he is currently on a mission in response to the needs of the Church in Canada.

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