November 19, 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Risk: a Sunday Scriptures blog

The other day I was listening to a rerun of Everybody Loves Raymond. One of the TV kids asked her TV Daddy: “If we are all going to heaven when we die, why do we have to spend time here on earth?” This weekend we have another parable about time, our lifetime on earth until the Master returns. In the parable, three servants receive different sums of money (“talents”) to manage while their master is away. The first two servants invest in worthwhile projects and earn a good return for their Master. But when the master returns, the third servant tells him: I knew you were a demanding person … so out of fear I … buried your talent in the ground. Perhaps this parable was directed at people in the early Christian community who did nothing responsible or productive because they figured the end of time might be tomorrow, so why bother exerting oneself! For us there are a couple of lessons. The two industrious servants did not do equally well, but both of them made a contribution with what they were given. The master is pleased with both — so we don’t need to be “the best,” only do our best. Another lesson is about risk. One servant would not take a risk with what he received for fear that his investment would fail. This truly is a modern temptation. Life itself, and especially discipleship life, is a risk. Marrying, or making a vow as a priest or nun, is a risk; bearing children is a huge risk. Volunteering is a risk; picking up the phone or starting an email to someone who does not like you, or whom you need to forgive, is a risk; standing up for something right or against something wrong is a risk. For Jesus, going into Jerusalem was a risk that seemed to end in failure, his death. But his death taught us that the only real failure is not having the courage to put our love “out there,” even when it might be trampled on or rejected. A powerful lesson for our week!

— Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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