33rd Week in Ordinary Time
2 Maccabees 7:1, 20-31; Psalm 17:1, 5-6, 8, 15;Luke 19:11-28
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, “Engage in trade with these until I return.” (Luke 19:13)
Does this story sound familiar? It resembles the parable of the talents found in Matthew 25, but Luke’s version has some important differences. In Matthew, each servant is given a different amount of gold with which to trade. But here, all of the master’s servants are given the same amount: one gold coin. So one way of looking at this parable is to understand that Jesus isn’t speaking of our diverse God-given abilities. Instead, he’s speaking of something that he has entrusted to all his servants: the gospel message. If you read it this way, you can hear Luke asking, “What are you doing with the gospel?”
Before you answer that question, it’s worth noting that the master doesn’t command his servants to make a large profit. He tells them just to engage in trade. God isn’t interested only in the bottom line of your work—how many people you evangelized this quarter or this year. He cares about you, not about your productivity. He has a unique plan for your life. You may not be in a position to reach thousands of people, but you can reach some. Each of us has a role in building the kingdom, and each of us has a unique way that we are called to put our “gold coin” of the gospel message to work.
Do you want to know who are the best at investing their gold coins? It’s the ones who are good friends. Their concern for other people and their willingness to listen encourages people to open up about their lives. They offer support and care. They are transparent about their own issues. Working from a foundation of friendship, they don’t feel the need to “force” Jesus into conversations like a sales pitch. But neither do they shy away from good opportunities to share about God’s love and healing. When they engage in the work of the gospel, it’s friend to friend. And as a result, they bring their friends to a deeper faith.
In God’s kingdom, we grow treasure by giving it away. Who are the friends in your life who need the treasure that you have?
“Jesus, thank you for entrusting me with your gospel. Please help me to give it away.”~WAU