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Wednesday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
While the people were listening to this he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God was going to show itself then and there.
Accordingly he said, “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to be appointed king and then return. He summoned ten of his servants and gave them ten pounds, telling them, ‘Trade with these, until I get back.’ But his compatriots detested him and sent a delegation to follow him with this message, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ Now it happened that on his return, having received his appointment as king, he sent for those servants to whom he had given the money, to find out what profit each had made by trading. The first came in. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘your one pound has brought in ten.’ He replied, ‘Well done, my good servant! Since you have proved yourself trustworthy in a very small thing, you shall have the government of ten cities.’ Then came the second. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘your one pound has made five.’ To this one also he said, ‘And you shall be in charge of five cities.’ Next came the other. ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘here is your pound. I put it away safely wrapped up in a cloth because I was afraid of you; for you are an exacting man: you gather in what you have not laid out and reap what you have not sown.’ He said to him, ‘You wicked servant! Out of your own mouth I condemn you. So you knew that I was an exacting man, gathering in what I have not laid out and reaping what I have not sown? Then why did you not put my money in the bank? On my return I could have drawn it out with interest.’ And he said to those standing by, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the man who has ten pounds.’ And they said to him, ‘But, sir, he has ten pounds.’ ‘I tell you, to everyone who has will be given more; but anyone who has not will be deprived even of what he has. As for my enemies who did not want me for their king, bring them here and execute them in my presence.’” When he had said this he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, increase my faith. Grant that I may participate more fully in building your Kingdom in my heart, home, and society.
- Which King to Serve?: In this parable, the disposition of the appointed king’s compatriots was one of rejection, disdain, and pride. They could not accept that this man of noble birth from a foreign country would rule over them. Pride blinded them to the possibilities of participating in the development of their own kingdom. But if they did not serve this new king, who would they serve? Themselves? This is the question we should ask ourselves: which king do I serve? The “temporal king” who may promise immediate gratification or an eternal King who invites a privileged participation in the building of his Kingdom?
- Investment: Notice how the king offered ten servants a quantity of money to invest while he was away. His command was simple, “Trade with these, until I get back.” It was not even their own money. That is stewardship. We need to recognize that all we receive is a gift to be invested in building up the Kingdom of God. What is the attitude of our heart in relation to our possessions? Do we receive and give them as gifts to be wisely used for an intentional purpose? Do we hoard anything out of fear of losing it? Do we gratefully recognize that we are stewards of all that we possess and thus joyfully participate in the great task of the King to reign over all with charity and mercy? In the end, stewardship is rewarded justly.
- Going Up to Jerusalem: After Jesus spoke these words he went up to Jerusalem. “Up” is both a literal and figurative movement. To get to Jerusalem, from whichever direction you enter, you have to go up due to the city’s altitude. But figuratively, Jesus also went up in the sense of moving toward the Father’s will. He was a steward of a Kingdom, and his investment was to be his life. He set his face toward that destiny and intentionally went to meet it. His full participation in the life and desire of the Father brought about a true establishment of the eternal Kingdom here on earth.
Conversing with Christ: Lord Jesus, may your Kingdom come through my collaboration in the gifts with which you bless me. Help me to be a wise investor of my time, talents, and treasure.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reflect upon the use of my time as a talent given to me to build your Kingdom.
For Further Reflection: All of Me, Regnum Christi Collective, and Nine Days to Christ the King Novena, Day 6.
Jennifer Ristine is a consecrated woman of Regnum Christi dedicated to spiritual and faith formation through teaching, conferences, writing, and spiritual direction. While serving in Ancient Magdala she wrote Mary Magdalene: Insights from Ancient Magdala and “Nine Days with Mary Magdalene.”
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