Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, those who had been given more, will be given more, and those who have little, and do not utilise it, will be thrown out, and what he has will be taken away from him. That is what Jesus often told His disciples, through various parables, one of which is what we heard today, on the parable of the ten pounds.
All of us have been given with the rich gifts from the Lord. These are the gifts of faith, hope, and love. But these seeds will not grow if we just let them be. Yes, we have to nurture them and make them grow, that they will bear fruits. And that is what the Lord our God desires from us all. In this manner therefore, we are reminded of the parable that Jesus had used to bring this point across to the people.
The pounds of silver are likened to the gifts, each of the servants were given equal amounts of them. This is like all of us, all of whom are the servants of God, were given the same gifts of faith, hope, and love, which initially lie dormant within us. What we do with these gifts determine what these seeds will become, either to grow and multiply fivefold, tenfold, more or less, or remain the same as how it was when God gave these gifts to us.
The last one speaks about the action of the third servant, who admitted to his master, that he had the silver pound hidden, in fear and in idleness, that when his master returned, the pound of silver remains as it was, that is the same silver pound. He was duly chided, punished, and cast out, as an unworthy servant, who had squandered the gifts that had been given to him, and let those gifts go to waste.
That is what we should not do, brothers and sisters in Christ, that is to let these gifts God has granted us to go to waste. It is a waste if we do not use these gifts for others, and keep them hidden within ourselves. We must open ourselves and nurture those gifts, by spreading them with real action, real dedication, and real commitment, to do the will of God, at the centre of which is, love.
How to make sure that we truly be fertile and grow well, into creatures of faith, hope, and love? That is by putting into concrete action, these three cardinal virtues of our faith. Faith, by being not afraid to stand up against things that are in opposition of our faith, the things that are against the laws and precepts of the Lord. This has been shown by the seven brothers and their mother, who died martyrs of the faith, by their perseverance against the threats and tortures dealt to them by the king, Antiochus Epiphanes, and the wickedness he promoted among the people under his rule, including that of Israel.
These brothers and their mother endured grievous sufferings for standing up for the Lord, and remaining true and upright to the laws dictated by the Lord to mankind. They did not give up even when the king offered them wealth, possessions, the glories of the world, and all the pleasures and the beauty that the world could offer them. Instead, they, one by one, faced death willingly and joyfully, for they know that their rewards would be great with God, in heaven.
This is the kind of the living faith that God wants us to have. Not in the way that we should lay down our own lives for the Lord, but in the way that we should follow closely what the Lord had taught us, and uphold all of those values and tenets, and do not steer away from them. Our dedication to God should be as strong, or aspire to be like them. We should not be easily swayed by the fear of difficulties that will definitely be in our path.
Then comes hope. Hope is not just an abstract concept, but something that can be made concrete, through none other that our own actions. Our actions can indeed bring either hope, or its opposite, that is despair, towards others. We have been given love by our Lord, who planted in us the seeds of hope, together with that of faith and love. Have our own actions then, reflect this hope? Have we uplifted others who are without hope? And bring new hope to those who are in despair?
These are the questions that we should ponder upon, as we act in our daily lives. Have we show hope to others in need of it? Have we actually put down others or dampen the hope of others? Let us reflect on them. And finally, we go to the last of all virtues, and the greatest of them all, that had also been placed by God in us. This is love.
What is love? Love is the greatest expression of one’s care and affection to another, and this is modelled after the acts of the One who showed the greatest love of all, towards us. Yes, our Lord Himself is love, and His love for us is so great, that indeed, He gave us Jesus, through whom He made manifest His long planned salvation for all of us, that we will not die, but live eternally with Him.
So we all, as the children of God, should also reflect love in all of our actions. We must profess love, just as we have professed faith and hope. Without love, our faith in God is empty and meaningless. Our faith must be alive, and that is through love, and through hope. Similarly, we cannot love without first having faith and love, or that love will be grossly incomplete. They are all intertwined, and all are gifts of the Lord Most High to us.
We have a choice, brothers and sisters. The Lord has given all of us gifts and entrusted in our hands. Just like the pounds of silver given to the servants of the master. The Lord is our Master. We have a choice, whether we remain idle and do not let these gifts to grow, or invest in them, allow them to develop, through concrete actions, based in those values, namely faith, hope, and love.
Therefore, brethren, let us make a decision, and indeed, let us decide decisively, to follow the expectations of our Lord, that is through concrete dedication of ourselves to others in our actions, words, and deeds. May the Lord continue to watch over us, strengthen us, and bless us. Amen.