THE PARABLE OF THE GOLD COINS (Lk 19:11-28).
While people were listening to Jesus speak, he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately.
So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported, ‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.’ Then the other servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’ He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding man, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’ But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’ He replied, ‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.’”
After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
Gospel Commentary from the Navarre Bible, Commentary to the Gospel of St. Luke (with permission)
- 11 The disciples had a wrong concept of the Kingdom of heaven: they thought it was about to happen and they saw it in earthly terms: they envisaged Jesus conquering the Roman tyrant and immediately establishing the Kingdom in the holy city of Jerusalem, and that when that happened they would hold privileged positions in the Kingdom.
- There is always a danger of Christians failing to grasp the transcendent, supernatural character of the Kingdom of God in this world, that is, the Church, which “has but one sole purpose — that the Kingdom of God may come and the salvation of the human race may be accomplished” (Vatican II, Gaudium et spes, 45).
- Through this parable our Lord teaches us that, although his reign has begun, it will only be fully manifested later on. In the time left to us we should use all the resources and graces God gives us, in order to merit the reward.
- 13 The “mina”, here translated as “pound”, was worth about 35 grammes of gold. This parable is very like the parable of the talents reported in St Matthew (cf. 25:14-30).
- 14 The last part of this verse, although it has a very specific context, reflects the attitude of many people who do not want to bear the sweet yoke of our Lord and who reject him as King.
- “There are millions of people in the world who reject Jesus Christ in this way; or rather they reject his shadow, for they do not know Christ. They have not seen the beauty of his face, they do not realize how wonderful his teaching is. This sad state of affairs makes me want to atone to our Lord. When I hear that endless clamour — expressed more in ignoble actions than in words — I feel the need to cry Out, ‘He must reign!’ (1 Cor 15:25)” ((St. Josemaría, Christ is passing by, 179).
- 17 God counts on our fidelity in little things, and the greater our effort in this regard the greater the reward we will receive: “Because you have been in pauca fidelis, faithful in small things, come and join in your master’s happiness. The words are Christ’s. In pauca fidelis! . . . Now will you neglect little things, if heaven itself is promised to those who mind them?” (St. Josemaría, The Way, 819).
Dear brethren in Christ, unlike the servants who despised their master, let us tell our Lord: Lord, we want you to reign. We want you to be our King. This kingship of Christ, however, is a kingdom of justice, peace, goodness and mercy. May our good desires be accompanied by our deeds, as we prepare ourselves for the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, this coming Sunday.
A great day ahead. Stay safe and God bless. Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
Topic: WHERE DO WE INVEST OUR GIFTS AND TALENTS?
Today’s gospel (Luke 19:11-28) seems to be a fusion of two different story lines. First, we have a king who is despised by his people. Second, and the one given more focus, is how the subjects of the king should follow his orders. The king in the parable leaves his 10 servants with 1 Mina each, equivalent to 100 Drachmas per Mina. Each drachma, in turn, is equivalent to a day’s wage. What they do with it while he is gone is our reflection for today.
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