This Sunday’s Gospel: November 15, 2020

This Sunday's Gospel

Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability. 
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two. 
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.

“After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five. 
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. 
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘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.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents. 
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘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.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, 
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. 
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter? 
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? 
Now then! 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.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

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My very first parish priest was Fr. Andrew Stanko. He presided at St. Stephens, the parish that I was born, baptized, and spent my childhood in. He was the chaplain of West End Catholic, my Catholic elementary school, and he gave me my First Holy Communion. This Sunday’s Gospel reminds me of a homily that he gave during a student Mass. He called three students up and walked them through a little reenactment of the Parable of the Talents. He gave pennies to each student, and told one to put his penny in a plant to symbolize burying it. Fr. Stanko always knew how to engage us and teach us the faith in a way that we could grasp.

Earlier this month, I got a text from my mom. She told me that Fr. Stanko had passed away. When I prayed for him that night, the words “well done, good and faithful servant” popped into my heart. I found peace in thinking that these were the words that Fr. Stanko heard our Heavenly Father tell him. I looked up the Mass readings for this Sunday, and quite providentially, today’s Gospel reading is the one that reminds me the most of Fr. Stanko. Memories of his interactive homily flooded my mind and provoked thoughts, smiles, and even a tear.

With the Parable of the Talents, Jesus reminds us to spend not our money, but our lives intentionally. He encourages us to use the talents, gifts, and blessings that he gave us. Instead of squandering them by hiding them from the world, we have to use our talents to glorify God and serve his children. Fr. Stanko had a talent for giving insightful and thought-provoking homilies. He used this talent well, and I’m confident that when he met our Lord, he said, “well done, good and faithful servant.”

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2 thoughts on “This Sunday’s Gospel: November 15, 2020

  1. A few tears reading this as well. I am enjoying learning how your experiences as a child at church and school impacted your life and helped you grow into the adult you are today.

    Like

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