Saturday of the 21st Week of the Year

Matt 25:14-30

The Parable of the Talents

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

Every time I watch a quiz show, I am fascinated by the alertness and intelligence shown by some contestants. Ten seconds after reading the question one can come out with an answer. Then, I see the joy in the winner’s eyes. At last, the preparations are compensated!

God endowed us with different talents and abilities; that is why we are unique individuals. However, these talents must be tapped, developed and used for our own growth as a person and for the good of the community.

It is a great privilege and responsibility to have talents and abilities. They should not be wasted. We are called to be stewards of God’s gifts to us whatever our situation may be. (Jun Perez, SVD Bible Diary 2002)

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George Claver, a black scientist, developed 350 products out of the lowly peanut. Probably our favourite peanut butter is one of them. Claver’s creative spirit is fed by his motto in life: “Start where you are, take what you have and make something of it.”

Everybody is gifted, either with talents, skills, capabilities, and virtues. Some abilities are highly visible and more prominent; some generic and commonplace. However, it is said that what the world needs is not so much people who can do extraordinary things, but people who do ordinary things in extraordinary way.

In one convent where I say Mass sometimes at six o’clock in the morning, a middle-aged security guard who opens and closes the gate makes a big difference in the early morning: his welcoming smile stretched from ear to ear. The sisters told me that his smile is ever ready to everyone every time. Being good-natured and pleasant is certainly a talent, which this man put to maximum use.

The Parable of the Talents reminds us that we came into the world with a lot of raw material to build our lives on. What we do with them depends on us. (Fr. Gerry del Pinado, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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Today’s parable talks of dedication to duty and work, of foresight, of responsibility that is both conscientious as well as imaginative. Opportunities should lead to further opportunities. When money is entrusted to us it is not just kept safe but made productive, placed in circulation and invested. This is true of our faith.

Christianity has never ceased to grow; similarly, our faith. Our faith’s preservation does not depend on its security of inaction. We have to be enterprising or we will be cast “into the outer darkness.” Our faith carries an element of adventure; it is risk. For what then is the presence of the Holy Spirit in us?

The unfortunate servant of the gospel wanted to remain safe. He never thought what the talent was given for. We are stewards of our talents, never the owner. All that we have comes from God, at our disposal according to his plan. Pope Benedict XVI warn us of the “dictatorship of relativism” in which everything is fluid and nothing permanent. Man is the measure of everything and reason is the measure of man. God in no way relates to us. We cannot do it alone. Without God we are nothing; without Him we can do nothing. (Fr. Antolin Uy, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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We love to tell stories. We like to listen to stories. Stories are imitations of our experiences in life. They present a better world which listeners and readers can dream of. At times, they shape our decisions in life. We come to a crucial decision after watching a good movie, for instance. Many of us who grew up in Ilocos region in the early 70s learned what is right from wrong by listening through the radio Daguiti Sarsarita ni Uncle Pete  (The Stories of Uncle Pete).

The parables of Jesus are also stories, but not like ordinary stories that have happy endings and clear moral lessons. Parables, by nature, leave the listeners with more questions in mind. The word “parable” comes from the Greek paraballo meaning, “to throw beside.” Parables, literally, “throw beside” the listeners’ minds – to think and rethink. A good example is the Parable of the Talents (Matt 25:14-30).

The master in the parable entrusts his “talents” to three servants. Do you know how much is one “talent” the Roman currency in the first century A.D.? it’s 6,000 denarii. One denarius is a day’s wages for an ordinary laborer. One talent would be worth twenty years’ wages; two talents forty years’ wages; five talents a hundred years’ wages who in “his right mind entrusts such extremely huge amount?

The servant who receives the five talents immediately “went and traded with them” (and presumably the second who receives two talents does the same). That implies that both engage in some kind of business. The third servant, receiving one talent, buries the money in the ground. Don’t think that that the guy is stupid. That’s the normal and safest way to keep money that belongs to others. Jewish writings have something on this: “Money can only be guarded by placing it in the earth…anyone who buried a pledge or a deposit immediately upon receipt of it, was free from liability.” And to the two servants who invest the talents, this is what Jesus says: ‘”if you have money, do not lend it at interest, but give it to one from whom you will not get it back” (from the gospel of Thomas but see also Luke 6:35). So who’s doing right?

When the master returns, accounting begins. The two servants who received more have doubled the amount. That’s almost impossible. Their is a rate higher than the so=called “five-six” Filipino money-lending way. The legal interest rate in the first country was only 12%! But note that the third servant, who did the right thing, is now condemned because he is “lazy” and does not know that his master “harvest where he does not plant.” Amazing!

What’s the end of the parable? That servant is thrown “into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” We are not told exactly where this place is, but surely a place of shame. When we grind our teeth in sleep, they saw we have a lot of worms in our stomachs (binubulate). Poor guy, he was just doing what he was supposed to do. (Fr. Randolf C. Flores, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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I took an accounting degree in college and worked for a while in a mining company in Cebu and in a 5-star hotel in Makati for three years. At the age of twenty-five, i got bored with accounting work. I was looking for something else that would give my life more meaning. After some reflection, i landed in the seminary. Before I was ordained, my formators encouraged me to make use of my accounting degree in my future ministry, the work that I left  behind because of boredom. For the past thirteen years in the priesthood, i spent three years in the parish and the remaining ten years in finance work. This time, however, instead of boredom, I feel challenged and fulfilled.

Jesus in today’s gospel says that for everyone who has, more will be given but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. God expects us therefore to be fruitful in whatever we do in life instead of just becoming passive. He wants us to enjoy his gifts by maximizing them to the fullest in order to give Him glory and to serve our brothers and sisters. And God will continue to give us more. Just like me, i was sent for further studies to Asia’s best school in management in Makati City,, the placed I used to work. God always expects the best from us. (Fr. Jun Rebayla, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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August 27, 2016 Saturday

There are some hard facts from our daily experiences that cannot be disputed and can even sound ironic, like, having too much of what is good is no longer good. Or, that no one among the richest people in the world has ever affirmed that he/she has enough. Today in the gospel, the Lord states that those who have because they are so diligent, more will be given to them, while those who have none, even what they have will be taken away from them.

A lazy person can be coherent in his reasoning but in the end he runs out of arguments, while the proofs he used to escape responsibilities are the very reasons for his condemnation. In the gospel he is the person who is full of fear of his master. He could use this fear to do better, rather it has made him resentful, as seen in his judgment of his master as demanding and unjust in harvesting what he did not plant and gathering where he did not scatter.

St. Monica, whose feast we celebrate today, showed us what persevering prayer and a deeper motivation could do. For 30 years she prayed for the conversion of her son to the Lord. She succeeded in helping his son Augustine become a great saint, and in the process also converted her husband Patricius t who got baptized before dying. She was given more after she nally got what she prayed for in thirty years. (Fr. Carlos Lariosa, SVD Radio Veritas Asia, QC Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/837-august-27-2016-saturday?month=8&year=2016

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V. 25: It’s bad enough to find an excuse for failing to do something. But it’s even worse to blame someone as an excuse for not acting. Blaming achieves nothing. recognize your talents and find their use. No excuse (Fr. Ching OP).

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Saturday, August 27, 2016

SATURDAY OF THE 21ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MATEO 25:14-30. UNSA MAY ATONG BUHATON SA MGA TALENTO NGA GIHATAG KANATO SA DIOS? Ang Sambingay nagtudlo nga ang katawhan gihatagan sa Dios og lain-laing mga talento. Ang Dios malipay kon atong gamiton ug palamboon ang iyang hinatag nga mga talento; masuko Siya kon kini ato lang pakatulgon. Pinaagi sa Sambingay gidasig kita sa pag-ila sa atong tagsatagsa ka mga abilidad ug kaantigohan, ug sa paggamit niini alang sa pag-alagad sa uban. Ang saktong paggamit sa mga talento maoy usa ka paagi sa pagpasidungog sa Dios. Dili importante kon unsa ang matang ug gidaghanon sa mga talento ang anaa kanato. Ang mahinungdanon nga ato kining gigamit para sa kaayohan sa katawhan sa Dios. Adunay nag-ingon: “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/08/saturday-of-21st-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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PROMOTION – “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.” – Matthew 25:21

My friend, Mariz, is the seventh of 11 children. When she was 11, her father passed away. A few months later, her mother left home. She and her siblings were left to fend for themselves. Mariz moved from one relative to another. She worked while she studied. She finally finished a two-year college course and was able to get a job. She did her best in every job she got. Her manager noticed this and promoted her. Soon, Mariz became a manager herself.

Another friend, Pat, joined the Light of Jesus Family and started to serve in different ministries. She did every task assigned to her with excellence. She assumed leadership roles. She now leads the Singles Ministry of The Feast Bay Area, and continues to inspire other singles to love and serve the Lord.

Colossians 3:23-24 tells us, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart as to the Lord and not for men. For you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” In my work and service, this Bible passage has been my guide. And it has brought success and blessing to all whoheed it. Meann Tee (meanntytee@yahoo.com)

Reflection: When we are faithful to the task assigned to us, we put ourselves on the road to success.

Father, help me to do my best in everything that I do so that people may see and give glory to Your Name. Amen.

kerygmafamily.com/modules/dailyreadings/read.php?date=2016-08-27

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Saturday of the 21st Week in Ordinary Time

1 Cor 1: 26-31; Mt 25:14-30

Tailor-made offering

On my recent visit to Kerala, I happened to attend the blessing ceremony of Parish hall in our parish. During the function, there was garlanding of those people who had donated more than one lakh each for the construction. They were given mementos and had photo session with the Bishop. The poor, but donated in the denominations of thousands, were not at all mentioned. The contribution of the rich was seen as their generosity and is appreciated as their greatness.

On the contrary, God does not think so. He mandates everyone to give according to one’s capability to give as explained in the Parable of the Talents. He expects five talents from the one to whom the five is given but only one talent from the person whom only one is given.

God expects only two copper coins from the widow (Lk 21:1-4) but expects the whole of property from Ananias and Sapphira (Act 5:1-11).

Virgin Mary could afford to have doubts about the words of the Angel, but not Zachariah (Lk 1:5-17). Being a priest, Zachariah had been given more.

Peter had to confess his love for Jesus three times, where as Paul was not asked to do so even though he had persecuted Jesus (Act 9:1-9).

Being a Christian/Consecrated person we all are given more. Through various sacraments, through the reception of Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, and through the Church which is the mystical body of Jesus Christ, we are given many more graces than what the people around us have received. Therefore we are asked to offer God more.

Any offering made before God is in fact a tailor-made offering. It varies from person to person. And it depends upon the mere fact that how much we each one is given. If I was given more, I am supposed to offer more. Fr. Johnson Bezalel CMI

navchetana.com/web/homilies.php?date=2016-08-27

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Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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