Equality in the Eyes of God

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A

All Saints for Today

By Andrey Mironov, via Wikimedia Commons

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.  To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one—to each according to his ability. Then he went away.”  Matthew 25:14-15

This passage begins the Parable of the Talents.  In the end, two of the servants worked hard using what they had received to produce more.  One of the servants did nothing and received condemnation.  There are many lessons we can take from this parable.  Let’s look at a lesson about equality.

At first, it may strike you that each of the servants were entrusted with a different number of talents, a reference to the monetary system used at that time.  In our day and age we tend to be fixated on what many call “equal rights.”  We get envious and angry if others seem to be treated better than us and there are many who become quite vocal about any perceived lack of fairness.

How would you feel if you were the one who received only one talent in this story after watching two others receive five and two talents?  Would you feel cheated?  Would you complain?  Perhaps.

Though the heart of the message in this parable is more about what one does with that which is received, it’s interesting to note that God does appear to give different portions to different people.  To some He gives what appears to be an abundance of blessings and responsibility.  To others He appears to give very little that is considered of value in this world.

God does not lack justice in any way.  Therefore, this parable should help us to accept the fact that life may not always “appear” to be fair and equal.  But this is a worldly perspective, not a divine one.  From the mind of God, those who have been given very little in the view of the world have as much potential to produce an abundance of good fruit as those who have been entrusted with much.  Think, for example, about the difference between a billionaire and a beggar.  Or about the difference between a bishop and an ordinary layman.  It’s easy to compare ourselves to others, but the fact of the matter is that the only thing that matters is what we do with that which we have received.  If you are a poor beggar who has been dealt a very difficult situation in life, you have just as much potential to glorify God and produce an abundance of good fruit as anyone else.

Reflect, today, upon all that God has given you.  What are your “talents?”  What have you been given to work with in life?  This would include material blessings, circumstances, natural talents and extraordinary graces.  How well do you use what you have been given?  Do not compare yourself to others.  Instead, use what you have been given for the glory of God and you will be rewarded for all eternity.

Lord, I give to You all that I am and thank You for all that You have given to me.  May I use all that I have been blessed with for Your glory and for the upbuilding of Your Kingdom.  May I never compare myself to others, looking only to the fulfillment of Your holy will in my life.  Jesus, I trust in You.

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