Readings: Matthew 25:14-30
The gifts and money we have been entrusted with we are called, (expected even, by virtue of our baptism) to use extravagantly; expected to take risks, to make the most of what the Father has given us.
Being followers of Christ is not idle work—it’s not hiding talents under the ground. It is going boldly, in thanksgiving, into the world with our careers, vocations, relationships, etc. to proclaim Christ, to make a positive difference in the world, to speak hope in the face of despair, love in the face of hate, to work for peace and justice in a world where injustice, greed and corruptive power run rampant. The Christian life and calling is one of giving thanks, actively.
Everything is a gift of God. Besides the obvious things—food, shelter, our lives, friends—we are given something even greater. We are given the gift of faith. We are given baptism into the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
By our faith we are given eternal life, and through our faith we enter into the work of God, now, in the world. We enter into the work of God,
who speaks hope in the face of despair,
who shows love in the face of hate,
who works peace and justice in a world where prejudice and violence are the norm.
It is our faith, given by the Holy Spirit, which allows us follow Christ, sharing the good news by the way we live.
Thankful for all God has done for us,
for Jesus’ giving himself for us, bringing life from death for us, staying with us in all circumstances,
our faith takes us into Christ’s mission.
Sharing the light of Christ—this is the joy of the master. The two slaves that traded with their talents were praised and invited into the joy of their master.
The one who buried his master’s talent…
That’s like receiving a precious gift and hiding in the back of the closet. That’s like hearing and receiving the good news and not telling a soul. That’s like receiving forgiveness and knowing God’s desire for justice and mercy, but being too afraid, or apathetic, to extend forgiveness and love to those around you.
Burying the talent is like squelching your faith, it’s like being freed by the gospel and then putting yourself in the ground. It’s faith without works, and it is dead.
Jesus says the servant who hid the talent is cast into the darkness. It is darkness when we stifle the light of Christ we’ve been given at our baptism. It is weeping and gnashing of teeth when we hide our faith.
We are invited into the joy of the master. We are invited to share the light of Christ which we received, to trade with the talents the master has entrusted to us.
Last week was about lamps, this week about talents. The encouragement: Keep your Christ light shining, trade courageously with your gift of faith. Thankfulness includes a response. It does not keep the gift hidden away, but displays it proudly. Thankfulness tells all your friends about the gift, and strangers you meet as well. Thankfulness is the response of faith—and faith, even the size of a mustard seed can do extravagant things: Faith enters into the work of Christ in the world--
Christ who brings good news to the poor, and proclaims release to the captives.
Who heals the sick, and lets the oppressed go free.
Who defeats injustice with mercy, and hate with love;
and who brings life where there is only death, light out of darkness.
Thanks be to God, for all we have been given, and especially for the work of Jesus Christ in this world—into which we have called, by God’s claim on us in our baptism.