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Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time

Apoc. 4:1-11 & Lk. 19:11-28

A glimpse through the door of Heaven is given in today's First Reading: God is on the throne and the elders, representing the priesthood of the Old and New Testaments, are worshipping Him. The throne is surrounded by a sea of glass, which was a very expensive substance in those days.

The four living creatures represent the best of Creation: the lion stands for nobility, the ox for strength, the man for his intelligence and the eagle for its swiftness. The Church has also looked upon these creatures as the four evangelists.

AII of Creation reflects something of the Creator. We see in them God's dignity, His strength, His wisdom and His swift agility or omnipresence. We all have something of the Creator in the gifts we were given. As in today's parable, the Lord will require of us an accounting as to what we have done with the gifts we were given. How are we building up the Kingdom? How are we reflecting Christ to others?

If we have left our gifts unused, it is as if we have received a present from a relation or friend and left it wrapped! Not using the gift is an insult – it was given to be appreciated and used. Just as the four living creatures are distinct, so our gifts are distinct. The eagle is not a man. The man is not an ox. The ox is not a lion. The lion is not an eagle. Yet, each in its own way contributes to the beauty and balance of Creation.

In today’s Gospel Jesus tells of a certain nobleman who put each of his three servants in charge of a quantity of money while he travelled to a far country. Upon his return he was pleased to discover that two of his servants had increased their money through shrewd investments. But the third had earned his master nothing out of fear of losing what he had been given. The master was furious over his servant’s timidity and fired him on the spot. Here we see that when timidity cuts us off from life it becomes a sin.

We are working in our Father’s kingdom; we do not work with purely human wisdom or effort. We will not be judged by how hard we have worked. Rather, we will be asked whether we allowed the Spirit to work in and through us. He is the One Who gives us the gifts and when we allow Him to work through us then we bear the fruits of those gifts.

Lord Jesus, may we appreciate and be grateful for the gifts You have given us. May we use them faithfully for the building up of Your kingdom on Earth.

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