REFLECTION FOR TODAY
November 17, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’” Lk. 19:12-14
In this parable of investment, Jesus told his disciples that there will be time He will ask for an accounting. Like the nobleman in the parable, Jesus will receive his kingdom, but he will also entrust his servants with much and expect a good return on all that He has invested in them.
In this parable, there are three categories of people. The first are those who received a gold coin and followed the master’s request to “engage in trade” until he returned. The second are those who received the same command but were lazy and failed to produce any good fruit from what was entrusted to them. And the third are those who “despise” their Lord and do not want Him as their King.
As Christians, we have all been given much. In addition to material blessings, we have all received gifts that cannot be seen with our natural eyes. Through the sacraments of the Church, we have received grace upon grace but what have we been doing with this gifts that we have received?
The first category of people in the parable, took the gold coins, engaged in trade, and made five and ten more. These are those who have much apostolic zeal. God not only calls us to use the gifts we have received to expand His Kingdom on earth, He also expects it of us. His expectation is a command of love and it a glorious invitation to make an eternal difference in the lives of many.
The second category of people is who kept the one gold coin “stored away in a handkerchief” out of fear. These are those who avoid evangelizing and furthering the Kingdom of God out of fear. Fear is paralyzing. But giving in to fear is a sin. It is a lack of faith and trust in God. Serving God will inevitably require courage on our part. It will demand that we step out of our comfort zone and do that which we may not immediately feel comfortable doing.
The third category of people are those who actively work to undermine God’s Kingship and reject Him as God. The world is filled with these people. They are those who work tirelessly to undermine the role of God. They promote their selfish interest and work against everything that promote the reign of God or works of evangelization.
As Christian, have we nurtured the gifts we have been given through prayer, scripture reading and the sacraments? Have we tried to bring others to the same knowledge of God’s love by sharing the gospel with them? Have we allowed the Spirit to purify us ever more fully of our sins? Life in God’s kingdom is both a high privilege and a demanding calling.
Reflect, today, upon which category of people your life most fully resembles. Do you have great zeal for God’s Kingdom? Are you willing to do all that you can to help build His Kingdom? Are you willing to do so even at the cost of great personal sacrifice? If so, then rejoice and know that an abundant reward awaits. But if you are one who struggles with fear, specifically, if you struggle with a fear to evangelize, to share the Gospel and to live your faith openly with humility and love, then spend more time with this parable and the fate of that one servant who hid the coin in the handkerchief. Engage in the apostolate. Commit yourself to the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. Dispel all fear and know that you will never regret putting your whole heart and soul into the service of God and the building of His Kingdom.
Lord, You have entrusted me with much, and You demand that I use all that You have given me to help build Your Kingdom of grace. What a privilege it is to be called by You and used by You for this apostolic mission. Please free me from all fear, dear Lord, so that I will never hesitate to serve You in the ways that You call me to serve. Jesus, I trust in You.