Our previous talk was about the return of Jesus. Maybe you are you wondering when this is going to happen, in a year, two years, more, less… We cannot know it since Jesus did not say it. However, He told a little story, a parable, that we are going to discover now and that you can reread in chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew. At the end of the story, you will be able to answer the question of the day: “While waiting for his return, what does Jesus recommend us to do?”
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Full text of this story :
JESUS TELLS THIS STORY A rich man is about to go on a very long journey to a far away country. He gathers his three servants. – I am going, he said to them, and while waiting for my return, you will manage my property. I entrust to you all that is mine, all my fortune. You will take care of it and do whatever it takes to make it grow. I ‘going to give each of you a share according to what you are capable to do: – Come here, he said to the first. Here are five talents. I entrust you with them, you will do all you can to do make them bear fruit. Five talents! That’s a huge amount of money! Then he calls the second servant: – And for you, here are two talents! He says to him. I entrust them to you, you will do all you can to make them grow. And now is the turn of the third servant. – Here is a talent, he said to him. I entrust it to you, you will do whatever you can to make it bear fruit. And off he goes, leaving all his fortune in the hands of his servants. The first servant thinks. – My master has gone. He trusts me completely. I will immediately get down to work because I don’t want to disappoint him. It is necessary that these five talents, that he entrusted to me, bear fruit, multiply. He sets to work and little by little, what has been entrusted to him bears fruitf. He works hard but it is with great joy that he does so. He likes very much his master whom he knows to be a very good man The second servant doesn’t waste his time: – What my master gave to me is of great value, he tells himself. He really trusts me. I’m not going to sit around and wait for his return. I want him to be proud of me when he comes back. I want to be able to give him a little more than what he gave me, maybe three talents, who knows ? He happily sets to work. And the third servant! What does he do? Well, he takes his bag, a very heavy bag. He carries it on his shoulder. He grabs his shovel and sets out. Once in the field, he begins to dig and dig. After much effort, he straightens his back and dabs the sweat on his forehead: – Phew! He says, that’s good! It’s pretty deep! He takes a box from his bag and places it at the bottom of the hole. He picks up his shovel and throws dirt to fill up the hole. He packs down well and covers everything with a carpet of leaves. – Impeccable! He said, it’s over and now we just have to wait. I can take care of my own business, rest and have a good time. One year, two years, ten years and maybe more! The years go by and the master has not returned yet. Do the servants still remember that he is to return? Are they discouraged from waiting? Let’s see where they are! The first two are always very busy. They persevere and their work is paying off. They are happy at the thought of return of their master even if he seems to be late. And the third one? Ah! He’s busy too, but busy with other things! The return of his master… oh! He doesn’t think about it anymore. One fine day, it’s a surprise! The master is here! The master is back! – Come closer! He tells them. Tell me how you handled the possessions that I have entrusted to you. The first one comes near quietly: – Lord! He says. Here are the five talents that you entrusted me and these are the five talents that I have earned. – It’s very good, said his master, you’re a good servant, I can trust you. You were faithful in this matter, I can entrust you the handling of more important things. Come! Share my joy! The second servant in turn approaches. – Lord, he says you gave me two talents. I have earned two more. Here they are! – It’s very good, says his master, you’re a good servant, we can trust you. You were faithful in this matter, I can entrust you the management of more important things. Come! Share my joy. And the third servant! … What is he going to do? He runs to retrieve what he has hidden and comes forward confidently: – Lord, he says, I know you as a severe and hard man, so I got scared and I went to hide your money deep in a hole in the ground. Here! I‘m giving it back to you! – Lazy, bad servant! The master answer, since you claim that I am a hard man, then why didn’t you go to the bank to deposit my money there? There, at least, it would have yielded some profit. You are a good-fornothing and in addition, you try to justify yourself! Throw him outside! He has no place here! Give his talent to the one who already has ten, because he is a faithful servant, and so he will be even more in abundance!
1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! In your opinion, the master of whom Jesus speaks in this parable, who does he represent? Yes, he represents Himself. After his death, Jesus was resurrected, he went to heaven and he will return. The servants represent us, you and me. What about the talents, those bags of money? They represent all the riches that God gives us entrusts us with our life, our health, our time, our gifts, what we are capable of doing, what we are good at ; it’s different for everyone. What does Jesus tell us to do with everything He gives us? Well he tells us to make efforts to do whatever we can to please him to use all our talents to be useful to others until He returns. Will you and I be rewarded? Yes, He will reward us for our loyalty. He will say to us: “Come, you will rejoice with me, you will share my joy, good and faithful servant!” So, whatever you do, do it with all your heart, even the little things. Do them with joy as if you were doing them for the Lord.
4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! Christian life is manifested by services for the Lord and for others. First, let’s help our children discover and be grateful for what God confides in them: life, health, food, clothes, money, family, friends. Then let’s help them see how they can use and develop what is entrusted to them … Let us encourage them to give to others and to serve faithfully and with joy. Jesus sees it and one day in heaven they will be rewarded.