November 19, 2017 — Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
We may long to hear the Lord say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” as He does with the first two servants mentioned in the Parable of the Talents in today’s Gospel from Matthew. However, although the third servant did not squander or waste the gifts (talents) he had received, the Master’s reaction was not the same.
As we have often stated, stewardship is an active way of life. There is nothing passive about it. The Lord expects us to do things, to take the gifts we receive and to share them and multiply them, as was the case in the first two servants cited in the parable.
If we really wish to hear the Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” to us when we are finally judged, we need to do something to earn that praise. The key word in that sentence is “do.” There is nothing spiritual or abstract about being ready for Jesus’ return and judgment of us. God has gifted us in a multitude of ways. We need to recognize those gifts; acknowledge those gifts; be grateful for those gifts; and most of all use those gifts to benefit the Church and others.
What have we done with our time, our money, and our abilities? In our Church we recognize and point to sins of omission — that is, things we did not do, but should have. Like the first two servants in the parable, it is not just a case of preserving what God has given us, it is a case of using it, increasing it, and returning it to the Lord.