Wednesday of the Thirty-ThirdWeek in Ordinary Time
Where to trade the talent
So he [Jesus] said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country … He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ … But when he returned … he had the servants called …The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’ Then the other servant came and said, ‘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 person … He said to him … You knew I was a demanding person … why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’ Lk 19,12-24
A few days ago, led by the gospel of Matthew, we pondered on the received talents; as of today we are going to see what are the fields in which they are to be traded. Whatever it is our project of life, the fields which the Holy Scriptures show us are three: the family, the nature and the society. We find the first two in the Old Testament, the third is referred to in almost every page of the gospel. The field of the family is dealt with at the beginning of the Genesis: “God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them, and saying: ‘Be fertil and multiply’ “ (Gn 1,27-28). These are the verses of the Genesis which give to the man and to the woman the mandate to build a family, to procreate children, helping them to grow in the body, in the mind and in the spirit, up to the moment when they are grown sufficiently enough to also begin the fulfillment of that mandate. If someone is called to the priesthood or consecrated, the family becomes a community, the procreation takes educational and spiritual aspects, but the mandate remains. The second field is dealt with at the beginning of the Genesis: “The Lord God then took the man and settled him in the garden of Eden to cultivate and care for it” (Gn 2,15). To cultivate and care of the creation, which the Lord has placed in our hands, means continuing the creative act of God within the natural environment. The respect and care of the creation and any ecological speech in the christian perspective are rooted in these verses. On the third field, featured by the man and the society, there are references throughout the whole gospel, but we find in Matthew, immediately after the parable of the talents, the passage which best sums it up: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me” (Mt 25,35-36). And more “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25,40). Every other word would be superfluous.