Mea maxima culpa – Saturday, 21st week in ordinary time – Mt 25:14-30
This final parable in the lectionary of the Gospel of Matthew (On Monday begin with the Gospel of Luke) has many things to ponder about. We could ponder on the final judgment, or the generous trusting master, the Christian disciple’s service, the patience of the master, the character of the master etc.
But parables are never written for us to bring our agenda to a narrative but rather let the narrative’s agenda be communicated to us. Matthew has a single agenda as he winds down his fifth and final discourse and before he launches into the passion narrative, he wants to communicate the characteristics of the Parousia, the second coming of Jesus.
Jesus has left the temple and is sitting on the Mount of Olives (24:3). He is now teaching His disciples privately who want to know more about the Parousia. This He does by weaving descriptions, comparisons, examples and parables. Jesus describes the signs of the end of age in tumultuous terms. Persecutions and false messiahs will be the order of the day. There will be a cosmic upheaval which will help one to rightly identify the prophecies of the Parousia.
After describing the events surrounding the Parousia, Jesus describes the state of readiness and alertness that the disciple needs to have. This He communicates via three parables; the ‘faithful and unfaithful servant’, the parable of the ‘ten bridesmaids’ (a feminine version of the first) and finally today’s Gospel of the ‘parable of the talents’.
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