PROVERBS 31: 10 – 13, 19 – 20, 30 – 31
Who can find a good wife? She is far more precious than jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 128: 1 – 2, 3, 4 – 5 (R.) 1a.
R. Blessed are all who fear the Lord.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
and walk in his ways!
By the labour of your hands you shall eat.
You will be blessed and prosper. R.
Your wife like a fruitful vine
in the heart of your house;
your children like shoots of the
olive around your table. R.
Indeed thus shall be blessed
the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Sion.
May you see Jerusalem prosper
all the days of your life! R.
Let not the day of the Lord surprise you like a thief.
1ST THESSALONIANS 5: 1 – 6
As to the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need to have anything written to you. For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. When people say, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labour pains come upon a woman with child, and there will be no escape. But you are not in darkness, brethren, for that day to surprise you like a thief. For you are all sons of light and sons of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
The Word of the Lord.
John15: 4a, 5b
Abide in me, and I in you, says the Lord; he who abides in me bears much fruit.
You have been faithful over a little, enter into the joy of your master.
MATTHEW 25: 14 – 30
At that time: Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and .he made five talents more. So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more. But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money. “Now after a longtime the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master. ’“And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more. ’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master. ’ “He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours. ’ “But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”’
The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Doing Small Things Well
November 19, 2023
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.” (Matthew 25:14–15)
Many people dream of doing great things in this life. Those who play sports dream of winning the championship. Those in business dream of growing their business. Artists and actors dream of becoming well-known. In almost everything we do, we dream of excelling. This drive is part of the natural desires God has given to us.
When it comes to the most important part of our lives, we must strive to excel also. What is the most important part of our lives? It is the calling we have received to serve the will of God. Therefore, we must strive to unite our natural desire for excellence with our faith so that we will be driven to fulfill the glorious mission God has entrusted to each one of us.
Every natural ability we have must be seen as a gift, given to us by God for the purpose of glorifying Him and furthering His Kingdom on earth. In our parable today, the man who went on a journey entrusted each of his servants with a large sum of money. To one he entrusted five talents; to another two; to a third, one. A talent was a measurement of precious metals such as silver or gold. In today’s value, one talent of silver would be worth about $30,000 USD. That’s a lot of money entrusted to each of these servants. However, when the master returned, he referred to this initial gift to each as a small amount and then promised to entrust a large amount to the two servants who used the talents well.
From a human perspective, we should see the natural gifts that God has given us as a huge amount. From a divine perspective, we must see every natural gift from God as only the beginning. God has so much more He wishes to bestow upon us. In order to obtain those riches of grace, we must first use well what we have been given for God’s glory and for the furtherance of His Kingdom.
What has our Lord entrusted to you? What gifts and talents do you have? As you think about your natural talents, consider how well you use them for the service of God. Using your natural abilities only for yourself is the same as refusing to use them for God. To the one man who was entrusted with one talent and did nothing with it, the master said, “You wicked, lazy servant!” He then took the one talent away and gave it to the one with ten who was responsible with the master’s money. So in our lives, if we fail to dedicate our natural abilities to the service of God, we will lose even the little we have. But if we unite our natural desire for greatness with the call to serve the will of God, then there is no limit to the riches of grace God will bestow.
Reflect, today, upon how diligent you are in your drive to fulfill the will of God in your life. If you feel as though you cannot make much of a difference, then try to dispel that idea. Try to do small things well. Work at perfecting your charity in your daily life. Commit yourself to daily prayer. Strive to weed out all sin in your life. Do the small things well and God will smile on these little offerings and transform them into a superabundance of grace.
Most generous Lord, You have entrusted to me a particular mission in life. May I work to excel in that mission, even if it seems small and insignificant. As I do, please pour forth Your abundant blessings of grace so that I will excel in giving You the greatest glory possible and will be a greater instrument of the coming of Your Kingdom on earth. Jesus, I trust in You.