“The Parable of the Talents”: This passage from the Gospel of Matthew is the one that the Pope reflected on today to explain to us the two ways we have to get closer to God. Do we approach with fear or with confidence?
Mireya Bonilla – Vatican City
The Gospel of Matthew presents to us, on this thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, a man who goes on a journey and delivers his talents to his servants, that is, his possessions, and distributes them according to each one’s capabilities. When they return, they are asked to be held accountable for what they did. Two of them doubled what they received and the Lord praises them, but the third buried his talent out of fear and cannot help but return it, and for this he receives severe rebuke. Francis emphasizes during today’s Angelus that by looking at this parable, “we can learn two different ways of approaching God.”
If you do not trust in the goodness of God you risk “blocking yourself out.”
The first way is the way of someone who buries the talent he received, and does not know how to see the riches that God has given him: he does not trust the Lord or himself. “Before him, he feels fear. He does not see the appreciation and trust that the Lord places in him. Rather, he sees the behavior of the president who demands more than he gives, and the judge who casts the shadow of his harsh punishments on the failures of others. And this – as the Pope says – is his image of God: “He is not “Able to believe in his own goodness, unable to believe in the Lord’s goodness towards us. For this reason he obscures himself and does not allow himself to participate in the task he has received.”
The Pope calls on us to trust God and take risks
The second method appears in the other two heroes, who reciprocate their master’s trust by trusting him in turn. “They invest everything they’ve got, even if they don’t know at first whether everything will go well: they study, they see possibilities and they wisely strive to do the best, they accept the risk of taking risks. They trust, study and take risks. Therefore, they have courage To work freely, creatively, to generate new wealth.
We’ve got talent more valuable than money
Having presented today’s parable, the Pope invites us to think about the dilemma we have before God: fear or trust: “Either you fear before the Lord or trust in the Lord.” And remember, like the heroes of the proverb, “we have all been given talents more valuable than money.” But much of how we invest it depends on trusting in the Lord, who frees our hearts and makes us active and creative in goodness.
Let’s remember: fear paralyzes, confidence liberates
Francis explains: “Trust always liberates; “Fear is paralyzing.” And remember, this phrase also applies to “teaching children.”
Finally, ask a thought-provoking question: “As a church: Are we cultivating in our environments a climate of trust and mutual respect that helps us move forward together, frees people and stimulates the loving creativity of all?” He highlights his final wish: “May the Virgin Mary help us to overcome fear, and never fear God, fear yes, fearlessness, and trust in God.”
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