The Memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
(1 Thess 4: 9 – 11; Ps 98; Matthew 25: 14 – 30)
The parable of Jesus, like all the others, is always an invitation to listen and receive God’s grace and also an invitation to use our imagination to enter and make the teaching our own – to personalize it so it speaks to you, to me.
In the interaction between the man and his servants, we can imagine an attitude of trust and respect by the man for the abilities and good will of his servants. And he is rewarded by their acceptance as he departs in a good spirit for a long journey.
In reality, two respond well in taking the talents, ﬁve and two, trading and increasing the amount. On his return, the man readily compliments them in these words, “Come share your master’s joy!” However, the servant with the one talent has an authority problem. For him, the master is a tyrant so he buries the talent in the ground with disdain, with ignorance of the gift.
When the man returns after a long time, he returns the talent, dirtied from being buried, dirtied with his spoken anger and no longer hidden disdain. He refused the gift; he set himself apart and therefore, being thrown into the darkness outside is, in fact, only a conﬁrmation of his own decision and attitude. It can be said to him “This is what you wanted!”
A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. To us, men and women committed to the Lord, the parable presents a lesson on receiving and responding. I believe we can say that in our very human lives, we are all three servants. Sometimes in receiving God’s gifts with awareness, we have responded to God with lived gratitude. And sometimes, due to ignorance or sheer willfulness, we have not. “No, thank You, God- not now!”
Every parable poses a question as this one does: Where do I stand? How is my heart moved by God’s generosity? Is there wisdom or foolishness in my life?
Today, the ﬁrst Saturday in September, we celebrate the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary – she who models total receptivity and total response – she who bore and lived Wisdom. As our mother and model, she tells us over and over, “Do whatever He tells you” – whatever He tells you – therefore, listen and in listening, obey, and in obeying become more His servant.