Gospel: Lk 19:11-28
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 country in order to be crowned king, after which he planned to return home. 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 five 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 you 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.‘ But they objected, ‘Sir, he already has ten pounds!‘
The master replied, ‘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 their king, bring them in, and execute them right here in front me!‘“
So Jesus spoke, and then he passed on ahead of them, on his way to Jerusalem.
It must have been painful for a mother to see her child dying. Doubly agonizing it is for a mother to see her child being killed in front of her. Completely heartbreaking, however, is for a mother to see all her sons die in a single day. This exactly was the fate of the mother of the seven brothers whom King Antiochus put to death for refusing to abandon the tradition of their ancestors. What is amazing here is that “full of a noble sense of honor, she encouraged each one of them in the language of their ancestors“ to bravely face death instead of despising their traditions. Even more remarkable, “she endured it even with joy she had put her hope in the Lord.“
What this mother had undergone reminds us of the suffering that the Mother of God has endured while she was at the foot of the cross witnessing the passion of her dying son Jesus. It was painful for her to see her son dying on the cross. But like the mother of the seven brothers, Mary patiently bore the pains for she knew it was necessary for her son to die as ransom for many.
Coincidentally, we also celebrate today the memorial of another courageous woman, St. Cecilia. She offered her life and suffered martyrdom than to deny her Christian faith.
May we follow the courage of these women to endure everything for the sake of our faith.