Reflection: 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle A
Prv. 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31; 1 Thes. 5:1-6; Mt. 25:14-30
Next Sunday will be the last Sunday of Ordinary Time in our Liturgical Year when we celebrate the feast of Christ the King and we call to mind the Second Coming of the Lord at the end of time to judge the living and the dead. The 2nd reading from 1Thess 5:2 reminds us that “the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” This will be reflected in 2 Pt 3:10, “the day of the Lord will come like a thief.” The Lord warns the angel of Sardis in Rev 3:3, “If you are not watchful, I will come like a thief and you will never know at what hour I will come upon you.” Finally, the Lord warns in Rev 16:15, “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who watches and keeps his clothes ready…” The exhortation for us is to be watchful, be vigilant for the hour of his coming, because we all know that he is coming, but we do not know the day nor the hour.
The Gospel reading from Mt 25 tells us how the Lord has dealt with us. When he ascended into heaven, he left each one of us time, talent and treasure to use and invest during our stay on this earth, to one five, to another two, and to another one, to each the quantity that he can handle. Notice that at the time of reckoning, the one who received two presented another two and he was praised for it, meaning that he was not expected to present five. Therefore I am expected to give back according to the time, talents and treasures entrusted to me not according to those entrusted to another. There is a specific mission entrusted to me, that only I can fulfill, not another and I must strive to fulfill it. There should be no envy nor despair because each person has a mission to fulfill which he or she alone can do. What each one is expected to do is to invest the gift received, to the best of one’s ability and talents. We are not to bury our talents and treasure but use them for love in whatever way we can in our circumstances in life.
The icon presented for us to imitate is the ideal wife described in the first reading. She is a person who can be trusted, who brings out good, not evil, who works with loving hands, and reaches out a hand to the poor and the needy. In everything, one is to fear the Lord. At the evening of life, we shall be judged on our love. Each man receives his eternal recompense: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven, through a purification, or immediate and everlasting damnation. Two statements are clear: “Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy;” and “You wicked, lazy servant! Throw this useless servant into the darkness outside; where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” With this knowledge, let us prepare ourselves to meet the Lord.