Jesus was now near Jerusalem and the people with him thought that God’s reign was about to appear. So as they were listening to him, Jesus went on to tell them a parable. He said, “A man of noble birth went to a distant place to have himself appointed king of his own people, after which he would return. Before he left, he summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds of silver. He said: ‘Put this money to work until I get back.’ But his compatriots who disliked him sent a delegation after him with this message: ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
He returned, however, appointed as king. At once he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, to find out what profit each had made. The first came in, and reported, ‘Sir, your pound of silver has earned ten more pounds of silver.’ The master replied, ‘Well done, my good servant! Since you have proved yourself faithful in a small matter, I can trust you to take charge of ten cities.’ The second reported, ‘Sir, your pound of silver earned five more pounds of silver.!’
The master replied, ‘And you, take charge of ﬁ ve cities!’ The third came in and said: ‘Sir, here is your money which I hid for safekeeping. I was afraid of you for you are an exacting person; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’
The master replied: ‘You worthless servant, I will judge you by your own words. So you knew I was an exacting person, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow! Why, then, did you not put my money on loan so that when I got back I could have collected it with interest?’
Then the master said to those standing by: ‘Take from him that pound, and give it to the one with ten pounds.’ They objected: ‘But, sir, he already has ten pounds!’
‘I tell you: everyone who has will be given more; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for my enemies who did not want me to be king, bring them in and execute them right here in my presence.’”
So Jesus spoke, and he went on ahead of them, on his way to Jerusalem.
It is easy to discover two different teachings in the Gospel of today.
First, is the appointed king, his journey and rejection and the punishment of the enemies.
Second are the servants that receive the same quantity of money, but negotiate in a different way.
In the first we find an allusion to the Jewish people and the destruction of Jerusalem on 70, just 40 years after the death of Jesus and his resurrection.
In the second let us remark on some aspects: the trust of the king who gave the same amount to each of his servants; his demand of an accounting of their profits; his congratulations to the first and the second, with an immediate award while he condemned the third servant.
Beware of that third servant who was aware of the severity of the king; he seemed idle and irresponsible.
The final moral is simple. On the one hand let us pray for the conversion of Israel. On the other, let us be careful with the gifts of nature and grace the Lord has allotted us. Now is the time to “negotiate” with confidence and eagerness, to hear at the end: ‘Well done, my good servant, come and join in your Master’s joy’.
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