Our liturgical year is coming to a close. As a result of that, Jesus speaks to us about the last things. Our Lord prepares us in such a way that we are not to be taken unawares with his return in the second coming. To pass the test, Our Lord wants us to be living our normal life as his disciples. The normal life expected of a disciple is to be living the life of the Master: Living in love, being caring, avoiding laziness, being industrious, using all our talents to the fullest and bearing fruits befitting of God’s Kingdom with the talents he has given to us. To be a good disciple is to be able to account for what we have done with God-given talents.
Last week the wise man of the Old Testament held up for us the mystery and power of Wisdom. That was in line with the teachings of Plato, a great Greek philosopher, that those who love wisdom are the successful rulers of the republic. Today, the wise man of the Old Testament also presence wisdom to us, personified in the good and industrious wife. She is the ideal portrait of the adult female, a worthy mother of many children. She is wise and industrious manager of the household, providing for the welfare of her husband and children. She is the product of Wisdom. As a reflection of Wisdom, all should learn from her. People commend the industrious woman for the way she keeps her home, husband, and the entire family. She is far beyond the price of pearls. She stands out as the responsible head of her household, doing most of the household chores, caring for the members of the family.
She symbolizes the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the description that she undertakes most of the hardships, sacrificing her time and leisure for the betterment of others, providing food and clothing, purchase of property, trading or business, Charity, intelligence and kindness. She is full of industriousness, and of religious spirit. The wise man of the Old Testament here describes the Christian life, even before the coming of Christ, who carried the cross for the salvation of the world, who St. Paul tells us to imitate by carrying one another’s burden. Patterning our lives after that of a worthy and industrious woman, who personifies wisdom, will enable us to live out the teachings of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today, Our Lord Jesus Christ uses the parable of the Talents to instruct us. The Patristic exegetes applied this parable especially to treasuring the word of God, as well as to the moral life and to the life of faith. God is the generous One who through His Son, Jesus Christ has given us His word, called us to faith, and asked us to live lives worthy of Him. As Jesus completes His Divine Mission and returns to the Father, He is expected to come again to judge the living and the dead on the last day. He will call each person to produce what he has done with the gifts received. To the one who has produced expected results, He will say: “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.” To the one who does not have the will power or who does not put into use his talents, he will say: “Take the Talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away (Matthew 25:28-29).”
It is important to find out what are the talents God has given us with which He wants us to bear fruits of the Kingdom. Our talents include our life, our time, our resources, our special gifts; everything we have, everything we are. Each of us should be asking: ’ how am I putting these into use to multiply them?’ ‘ How am I making a difference with these talents?’ On the day of reckoning, ‘will I come out to say: the talents I have received have been multiplied?’ Each tree bears fruits according to its kind. By their fruits we shall know them. The church has given us great opportunities to put our talents into use. There are different ministries within the Holy Church where we can bear fruits of God’s Kingdom. Like the good wife of Proverbs, let our good deeds praise us at the city gates. There is no room for idleness and useless speculations as to when the Lord is going to come again, let the Lord’s coming again find us doing what is right and bearing good fruits. Today, St. Paul warns us not to be asleep like the rest, but awake and sober. May God, by his spirit and grace, empower us now and forever. Amen.