In today’s Gospel Our Lord responds to the expectation of an immediate manifestation of the Kingdom of God with a parable that describes symbolically how the manifestation of the Kingdom of God will take place: the Last Judgment. Our Lord is that nobleman who goes off to become king: he ascends into Heaven to be at his Father’s right hand, and, when he returns, he’ll return in glory and the Kingdom will be fully and visibly established, with rewards and sentences handed out. This parable speaks to what is expected of us in the meanwhile.
There are three categories of response. First, those who deny of any sovereignty on the part of the King, even to the point of working actively against him: a rejection of Christ and, therefore, of God, that leads to the everlasting “death sentence”of being separated forever from the only thing that matters in life: love for God and for others. Second, those who have been entrusted with something by the King in order to bear some profit for him that he’ll acknowledge and reward upon his return. Believers who do something with the talents Our Lord has given them not only benefit the Kingdom, but receive acknowledgment and trust in the Kingdom to come. Finally, those who acknowledge receiving something from the King, but do nothing to make it bear profit for him. Believers who do zero with the talents Our Lord have given them lose those talents and everything else, because they didn’t even make a minimal effort to invest them, and all Our Lord expects is some effort.
We don’t have to wait until Our King’s return to see how things turn out for us. Each one of us must see whether we’ve rejected him until now in our life, have squandered what he has entrusted to us, or have tried to make what he’s entrusted to us bear some fruit. As the parable teaches, even a minimal effort with what we’ve been entrusted is enough to bear fruit. Let’s not be afraid to improve the “verdict” in our own case.
Readings: 2 Maccabees 7:1, 20–31; Psalm 17:1b–d, 5–6, 8b, 15; Luke 19:11–28.