THE SERVANTS CHARGED WITH TALENTS – Homily by Metropolitan Jonah Lwanga on the Parable of talents

43rd LORD’S SUNDAY FROM RESURRECTION (2 Cor 6:1-10    Mt 25:14-30)

This Lord’s Sunday is of the three servants, who were charged by the king with some talents. Therefore, the next Lord’s Sunday will be for the faithful Canaanite woman; after which, always we enter into the period of Triodion, which is the period of great lent. The passage today would have been Lk 19:11-26, as a continuation of the incident of Zacchaeos the tax collector. But the holy Fathers regulated to replace Lk 19:11-26 by using Mt 25:14-30. The reason for replacement becomes clearer when we compare the two passages. Evangelist Mark does not save the passage.

Today’s parable is provided by the Lord to depict in brief the complicated matter of God’s kingdom, established on earth by the Word and Lord, who appeared in Christ as King and left for a while His servants continuing with the work. Therefore, in that given sense, here talents do indicate the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12:8-10), which include virtues from above. Those spiritual gifts (talents) being divided to all workers, “according to everyone’s ability”. Certainly, this parable as parable may mean even some other facts unknown to us today.

When the Lord comes again (second Parousia) for the last judgment, there will be a reckoning of all activities, in relation to the establishment of the heavenly Kingdom on earth. Men (servants) in whom virtues are cultivated will become joined with the Lord God, reigning with Him spiritually in every perspective of life. For, although Christ the King of kings is seated at the right hand of the Father (Col 3:1), He will again appear for the final status of the whole work of Salvation.

The details of this parable, regarding the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth, are clearly showing that all human persons receive spiritual gifts from God. There is no any person who does not receive spiritual gifts from God. But all persons receive those gifts, not in the same measurement. Because the ability to use these gifts differs from person to person. Persons of greater ability cultivate the spiritual gifts of virtues successfully than those of lesser ability. Having well done, those of greater ability is put in charge of large, ten cities, five, three or two and one city, (Lk 19:17,19).

In that sense, the proclamation of Apostle Paul to the Corinthians and elsewhere (2 Cor 6:1-10) is exactly on the point: Day to receive favor, day of salvation! No obstacles to anyone. As God’s servants only! Enduring troubles and difficulties. Beaten, jailed without sleep or food! But, as God’s servants cultivating purity, patience, kindness, true love, in the power of God the Holy Spirit. Not as liars! Not as dead. But glad though saddened! But rich though seemingly poor!


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