“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents.
But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’
But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents.
For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.”
Recently, some students and I were talking about loving others. The conversation turned to laundry. Jesuits and undergraduates alike sometimes face the dilemma of what to do with laundry that someone else has left. Get angry, and just throw it on the floor in a pile? Or, put that energy into quietly folding that known-or-unknown person’s laundry? Suddenly, everyone had a story of how someone’s unexpected—and perhaps unwarranted–kindness had helped them feel loved. The truth of today’s Gospel seems to unfold when we choose to love in small matters such as these. It forms a habit of heart that makes us more likely to love without seeking a return. When, in larger matters, we then respond in the same way, our love, talents and Christ-likeness shine through. We realize that no God-given gift is too small when undertaking the great responsibility of sharing the love and joy of Christ with each other.
—Fr. Mark Mossa, SJ, is the Director of Campus Ministry at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL.
Lord, grant me the gift of turning annoyance into kindness. Help me to love unnecessarily, seeking nothing in return. Dispose me to presume another’s best intentions and see their gifts, even when I am skeptical. Forgive me when I fail to show kindness, and to use the gifts you have given me. Instead, help me to overcome my fears and multiply my talents in matters both great and small. And, in doing so, may I come to know your joy.
—Fr. Mark Mossa, SJ