Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
“While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately.”
These introductory verses found at the beginning of today’s Gospel capture a personal and communal attitude that still surfaces from time to time in life today: asking many questions about the end of the world while losing sight of the more immediate present. And this is precisely why Jesus tells the parable of the talents.
The whole narrative revolves around the absence of a man of noble lineage who has left for a distant country and no one knows when he will return. In the meantime he has entrusted his servants with gold coins (talents), and the interesting thing is the relationship they build on this act of trust.
They all invest the money, except for one. He’s worried about when the master will return and about his possible severe judgment, so he makes this argument:
“Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.”
Those who build their lives on fear cannot enjoy anything, and they reap only emptiness. There’s no point in worrying about hypothetical situations that make us run away from the present and from reality. We need to ask ourselves how we can make good use of the time and the things the Lord has given us today. Otherwise, the same fate will befall us as that servant who, intending to protect what he had, actually lost everything.
Life is worthwhile only if we are willing to invest, to take risks for something great. Mediocrity is banned from the kingdom.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.