Commentary for Sunday: 19th November

Matthew 25, 14-30

Sunday, November 19th, 2023 (33 OT A)

“At that time Jesus told his disciples this parable: A man who was going abroad called his servants and left them in charge of his property. To one he left five talents of silver, to another two, to another one. To each according to his ability. Then he went away… After a long time the master of those servants returned and began to settle accounts with them”.

The Gospel continues this Sunday with its calls to attention so that we do not fall asleep in our Christian living. When St. Matthew wrote his Gospel, many members of his community thought that the Lord’s final coming was imminent, and so some of them “waited” and did nothing.

The parables of Matthew chapter 25 all go in the same direction: to warn them not to slumber, but to be vigilant. Today he tells us the parable of the talents, the parable of the master who goes away, leaving his servants some sums of money (talents) until his return. On his return he calls each of them to account. Two have been “faithful” and receive the praise of the master and their reward: “enter your master’s banquet”. The third has hidden his talent and only returns it. He has done nothing wrong, but receives his master’s reproach and punishment for having done nothing.

The talent was worth approximately 36 kilos of gold, equivalent to a day labourer’s wages for 16 to 18 years of work. A lot of money.

In the interpretation of the parable, when we speak of “talents”, we can quickly think of “intelligence” or “qualities”, which God has given us, and how we negotiate those gifts. This is what living in a time and society as materialistic as ours leads us to. I prefer to think that the talent that God gives to each one of us, more than a quality, is life itself, which God gives to all of us equally. And it is with it that we have to negotiate. We cannot let it pass by idly, waiting for “the holy advent”. Our life is too precious to let it slip through our fingers. The best investment is the one we can make on behalf of others, following Jesus’ advice: “whoever would gain their life will lose it, but whoever loses it for my sake and the gospel’s will gain it for eternal life”.

The Word of God invites us to an active attitude in living our faith. Jesus challenges us to develop the talents that the Father has given us to grow as people and to improve our world.


Juan Ramon Gomez Pascual, cmf

Are your talents dormant?


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