Saturday the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus does not say who the man was who “called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them”. His focus is more on the servants than on the master, and there may be a reason for that. Since today is the sabbath, I’ll tell you a story about that.
The first Jewish scholar to work for Jewish-Christian relations was Martin Buber. He wrote a good many books about Hasidism and retold many of their stories. One time he went to an ecumenical gathering and spoke to a large crowd of people who were there, and this is what he said to the Christians who were present:
“Between you and me, what is the difference? All of us believe in the Messiah, except that you think he has come already and will come again. We Jews believe He hasn’t come yet. So I propose to you, let’s wait together. And when He comes, we shall simply ask Him, ‘Have you been here before?’” And Buber added, “I hope at that moment I will stand behind Him, and I will whisper in His ear: ‘Don’t answer that”.
When the Messiah comes “after a long time”, He won’t ask His servants to say if He’s been here before. He’ll simply ask how they’ve used the talents He entrusted to them, and whether they “were faithful in small matters”. Those who have traded with their talents, who have “progressed even more” in love, will come and “share their master’s joy”.
For, as St John of the Cross put it, “In the evening of our life, it is on love that we shall be judged”.