Sunday, November 15, 2020

Sunday Sermon

If you use the new fangled lectionary, chances are you heard the Parable of the Talents this morning at Mass. Remember the story? A man goes on a long journey and entrusts three servants with his money, five Talents to one, two to another and one to the last. 

When the man returns he makes an accounting, and the first two servants do well, they've increased the money entrusted to them, but the third hasn't. He hid his talent in the ground and returns it, only to get a ferocious response, "You wicked and slothful servant!" 

The parable's often interpreted as a cautionary tale in favor of  good stewardship; use the various things God's blessed us with wisely for the growth of his kingdom, at interest. So don't be shy, fill in that pledge card!

All well and good, if underwhelming, and the treatment of the last servant seems harsh. Why is he so wicked? It makes little sense until we consider the number of the treasure.

The five Talents represent the five books of the Law, the Pentateuch, which are described by two Talents, the commandments to love God and neighbor, "on which hang all the Law and the Prophets." This is embodied in the one Talent, in God, Jesus who is the fulfillment of Law and Prophecy. 

No wonder, then, that the sum of the treasure amounts to eight, the number of eternity, new creation, and resurrection, Christ rose on Sunday, the eighth day. The treasure entrusted to his servants is ultimately nothing less than God himself, the indwelling presence of Christ.

Now we understand the wickedness of the final servant. Imagine, on the last day, when God returns and demands an accounting, a reckoning, "What did you do with the treasure I gave you, with myself?" The time for lies and excuses is over and we reply, "I hid it in the dirt, I buried you." At that point Dies Irae, and outer darkness awaits.

Pray for mercy and the increase of the grace which has been given us, nothing less than the indwelling presence of Christ. So that, at the end, when the Man comes around, he will welcome us into the joy of his kingdom.

Here endeth the Lesson,



drjim said...

Powerful sermon, Parson.

Thank you.

Adrienne said...

Excellent, LSP. Thanks

Anonymous said...

More wisdom here than in many a long-winded sermon. Well said Parson!


LSP said...

Thanks, drjim. Of course the hard bit's living it...

LSP said...

I know our lectionaries are off-synch, Adrienne, but I was hoping you'd find it helpful.

LSP said...

Thanks, Darrel, I appreciate it. Reflect on the numbers and the wicked words of the last servant -- lots going on. God bless.