'The parable
 of the

Sunday Reflection

15th November 2020

'challenging as detective stories...'

21 "His master replied,
    'Well done, good and faithful servant!

..... Matthew 25:21a

Parables can be as exciting
and challenging
as detective stories.
Even more so,
for in the end they turn out to be
dealing with real life,
while detective stories
can be pretty far-fetched.

But parables,
like detective stories,
are filled with half-hidden truths
and secret meanings
and yet with clues
to these secrets scattered
liberally throughout.

Parables are God's exciting way
of challenging us
to a mystery hunt,
and the treasure we are after
is a new insight
into the nature of life
which will enrich us
in a thousand ways
if we act upon it
once it is discovered.

In the Gospel reading
for today (Matthew 25:14-30)
Jesus tells the parable of the talents,
in it he is saying
there is no time like the present.
Now is the important time,
we need to act.

What will we do?
God has given each one of us
a fabulous a treasure -
each in a different
but abundant amount,
and left what we do with it
up to us.

Think about it

think about what God
has entrusted to us,
who God has entrusted to us;
think about what
we have been given
in this life by our God.

What we have been entrusted with
for a matter of a few years
and what we have been promised
will be ours for an eternity.

It is a fantastic treasure
that has been given to us;
with every breath,
with each meal we can eat,
with each person
we come into contact with,
with each sight we can see.

We are called
to emulate the ministry of Jesus.

Jesus has announced the arrival
of God's kingdom by
feeding the hungry,
curing the sick,
blessing the meek,
and serving the least.

But the parable of the talents
is not a lesson about our
degree of ability or productivity.
It is a lesson about
our attitude
and our responsibility -

about stepping out with
God's treasure in our hands
and risking it all for the sake of God. -

about really daring to love.
really daring to care
even though the conditions
do not seem right for it,
even though the persons involved
do not really seem worthy of it,
even though a thousand and one
bad things might happen.

So, what is the final message
of Jesus in telling this story?

It is: Step out!

Risk! Live dangerously!
Take constant chances
with our lives and goods
for his name's sake.
Don't try to bottle up
our lives so as to hang on to it
at all costs.

If we do that,
we will surely lose it.

But surrender ourselves
to his cause,
again and again,
is the way to find life.

That is the way
to watch for his coming.
Having risked ourselves
to become Christians,
we must risk again and again
as opportunities arise.

Live dangerously!

Or that also could be written,
love dangerously!
To live for Christ
is to love others with his love.
And that is always a risk.

C.S. Lewis summed it up when he wrote:

"To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything and your heart
will certainly be wrung
and possibly be broken.
If you want to make sure of
keeping it intact
you must give your heart to no one,
not even to an animal.

Wrap it carefully around
with hobbies and little luxuries,
avoid all entanglements,
lock it up safe in the casket
or the coffin of your selfishness.

But in that casket-safe,
dark, motionless,
airless-it will change.

It will not be broken,
it will become unbreakable,
impenetrable, irredeemable.

The only place outside Heaven
where you can be perfectly safe
from all the dangers
and perturbations of love, is hell."

God will not judge us
for trying
and failing;
only for not trying -
so let us keep trying,
so that when we see him face to face
we can hear the Lord say to us,

"Well done,
my good and faithful servant.
Come, share your master's joy."