Parable of the Gold Coins

Luke 19: 11-28
2 Mc 7:1,20-31 / Ps 17

I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
(Luke 19:26)

Thank God for talents we’ve received;
And His Word we’ve come to believe.
May these talents lead us to give
More worth in each day that we live.

While they were listening to this, Jesus went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten more.’ “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his gold coin away from him and give it to the one who has ten.’ ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ He replied, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”

Reflection

Our Lord Jesus gave this parable of the talents to impress upon His apostles their responsibility as stewards of His kingdom on earth. Those who have been faithful in taking charge of small assignments will be given greater undertakings and even greater rewards. But those who do not put to good use even the little talents given them will suffer their loss, as well as the inheritance of His eternal kingdom.

In the parable, the nobleman gave his ten servants one gold coin each. God gives each one of us a gift according to our individual capabilities. With diligence and zeal in using the talent God has given us, we can produce five or ten times more from our original store. Or we can let our gift lie fallow because of laziness, negligence, (pursuing instead selfish, worldly pleasures), or lack of confidence (fear of failure). If we do not employ the talent God has given us, we would be no different from that third servant who even insulted his master by saying, “I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding person; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.” (Lk.19:21)

Life in this world is only as meaningful as the value we put into it in preparing for the next life. Time derives its worth from every moment lived for the Lord. Life is so precious that we must make each day count for God’s glory. There is no other reason for this short sojourn here on earth.

May each day that we live be filled with works that give You glory, Lord, if only to show our appreciation for all the talents that You have given us, and for this gift of life that You have made so precious. Amen.

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