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Sunday, 13 November 2011

33RD SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A: READINGS AND REFLECTION

First Reading

Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and works with loving hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.



She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward for her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
R. (cf. 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Second Reading
1 Thes 5:1-6

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come
like a thief at night.
When people are saying, "Peace and security, "
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.

Gospel
Mt 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
'Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"


REFLECTIONS


The History of Salvation cannot be recounted completely without the mention of Abraham, the man to whom God revealed Himself in a special way. One thing interesting about this figure is his faith. Faith is the supernatural gift of God which enables us to believe without doubting whatever God has revealed. This gift of faith was given to Abraham and he was faithful to God in the practice of this virtue. Because of his fidelity, today he is regarded as the Father of faith or our Father in faith.

In the first reading (Prov. 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31), we are presented with the image of a faithful wife. A wife who knows and does the will of her husband. She cherished the gift of her womanhood and was attractive to the husband. The husband also cherished her because of her worth. We are invited to imitate this faithful wife in our relationship with others. Just as we are the members of Christ’s body the Church, we are the bride of Christ. Therefore, we must make ourselves attractive to Christ as his bride and be faithful to Him as our bridegroom.

In the second reading (1 Thess. 5:1-6), St Paul reminds us of the Godliness of time, which God has given to us. He admonishes us to be faithful with this time and utilize it in preparing for the Lord’s Day. If we are careless with this gift, then the Lord’s Day will meet us as a surprise.

In the Gospel reading (Mt 25:14-30), we are also presented with the image of the faithful servants and the unfaithful servant. The faithful servants were appreciative of the talents given to them and the only way to express this appreciation was to put it in use while the unfaithful servant hid his own talent. He wasn’t faithful to the master and even accused the master of being the one unfaithful.

Our relationship with God could be assessed from these readings. How faithful are we in our Church-commitment? Do we really love the Church and can do anything to maintain it? How do we manage the time God has given to us? Do we procrastinate or wait until it is too late? Do we use this time to prepare for the Lord’s coming? Moreso, God has given each and everyone of us talents with which to better the world. God expects us to be faithful in managing these talents. Are we arrogant and wicked with our gifts? We can be faithful in this case by our humility, wisdom, good-will and putting it into good use. The unfaithful servant hid his talent, never used it and even accused his master of being unfaithful. But the faithful ones made more out of the much they had. Do not hide your talent and do not encourage others to do so. Work with it, be ready at all time and wait for the arrival of the master. Perhaps, his coming is now.
-          Uwakwe Chibuike MFC
               

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