Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 13/11/2011 - Gospel: Mt 25, 14-30
There are free gifts but no free responsibilities to take care of the gifts. When we receive a gift we need to look after that gift. We take care of the gifts not because the gifts were expensive but because it is the sign of our love for the donor. In that sense the obligation is to take care of the gift, derived from the love and respect for the donor and may be of the gift itself. We show our love to the donor by loving the gift we have received. We show respect for the donor by respecting the gift and make the gift grow to its potential. Without love and respect from the receiver, the gift would have lost its spiritual values and meanings causing by lack of respect and love for the donor.

The parable of the talents is about stewardship but the issue of stewardship is in relation to the kingdom of God. Talents are the means of earning to satisfy our physical needs and also to enrich our spiritual life. We often remember to develop the talents for our personal needs and forget the second responsibility, that is, to enrich our spiritual life. The Bible used the word talents to refer to human ability. Talents are unique gifts given to each person to cultivate, develop and share the gifts for the benefits of mankind and to build up God's kingdom on earth. We are not owner of the talents but are stewards of the talents. As a steward we have the responsibility to have the answer ready whenever the owner, the Master asks us. We are responsible to share the talents for others not just from the original talents we have received, but more importantly, to share a great deal from the yield of what we have developed.

The purpose of sharing is not just for the benefits of the kingdom of the Master but as well as for other people. This is not an option of a personal choice but it is a must that includes in the package of the talents the Master endowed to us. The more we share of the talents the better we practice our stewardship. Any mistreating of other servants in the absent of the Master is a fatal mistake. That steward can't get away with it. When the Master returns He will deal with that steward in the same way as he has done with other servants. In other words, mistreating other servants in the absent of the Master is considered as an act of exploitation of trust and unfaithfulness. The absence of the Master gives us an opportunity to act on His behalf. They are blessed when they live in love and show that they love others not just in words but in actions by caring for one another, the people the Master entrusts them under their care.

An abusive approach happened when the gifts they received either do not bring benefits for others or they are underdeveloped. The most common practice would be to act as if they are the owners, the masters of the talents and they have the full rights to use them whatever ways they want. This kind of thinking leads to misuse of the talents and avoids sharing the responsibilities as the Master has intended. They can't escape the time of the reckoning because we know that no one can escape death. The wise stewards are the ones who make no delay in developing the gifts but quickly make an investment of the gifts and are ready whenever the Master expects of them. Delay in practicing stewardship in any form is a fatal mistake because the hour of accountability happens at the time we don't expect and we have no control of that.

The Master rewards the faithful servants with additional responsibility and punishes the unfaithful harshly to tell us that we are not the owners of the talents but only the stewards.