READINGS for 2007-09-01

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



“I went and hid your talent in the ground.” – Matthew 25:25

Phillip was a body builder.

And his body was pure 100% muscle.

I saw his photo of 18 years ago, and I said to myself, Man, I wouldn’t want to pick a fight with this guy. He was like a bull in his tight shirt. Steel arms. Iron legs. Brass belly. A chest like a tank.

Sadly, that was 18 years ago.

Today, I’d pick a fight with him anytime.

He’s all flab, has a tummy the size of a grand piano, and tiny legs. Nudge him slightly with your little finger and he falls on the ground.

The reason? One day, he decided he’d had enough with body building and stopped lifting weights. In other words, he stopped using his muscles. So the muscles disappeared and fat took over.

When we stop using anything, we lose it.

Friends, keep using all the talents and skills and gifts that God has given you. Increase them. Develop them.

Don’t let them turn to flab. Bo S.


Volunteer. Take more responsibility. Take more service. It will make you grow more!

Lord, thank You for all the gifts and talents You have given to me. I will use all of them to bless the world!




1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

We all have a responsibility to contribute to the life of the community to which we belong. Paul reminds the Thessalonians that it is important that each of them are faithful to both their secular and religious responsibilities. It is also important to remember that there is always something that we can offer to the community. Nobody is useless in the eyes of God. Likewise, we can never legitimately think that we have given all we can and therefore we can rest and be served from that point on.

9 On the subject of mutual charity you have no need for anyone to write you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another. 10 Indeed, you do this for all the brothers throughout Macedonia. Nevertheless we urge you, brothers, to progress even more, 11 and to aspire to live a tranquil life, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you. 12 that you may conduct yourselves properly toward outsiders and not depend on anyone.


Psalm 98:1, 7-8, 9

R: The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice.

1 Sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done wondrous deeds; his right hand has won victory for him, his holy arm. (R) 7 Let the sea and what fills it resound, the world and those who dwell in it; 8 Let the rivers clap their hands, the mountains shout with them for joy. (R) 9 Before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to rule the earth; he will rule the world with justice and the peoples with equity. (R)


Matthew 25:14-30

Simply put, today’s parable tells us that we cannot expect to be blessed with great gifts if we are not first faithful to small ones. In other words, God is not going to waste the blessings He wants to give us if we are not demonstrating that we are capable of using well those He has already given us. This is a perfectly understandable position and one that we will do well to heed and act accordingly. In this way we will never see the end of God’s blessings.

14 “It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. 15 To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one — to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediately 16 the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. 17 Likewise, the one who received two made another two. 18 But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money. 19 After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. 20 The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have God’s special verse/thought for me today made five more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ 22 [Then] the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’ 24 Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; 25 so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ 26 His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? 27 Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? 28 Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. 29 For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”

my reflections

think: We can never legitimately think that we have given all we can and therefore we can rest and be served from that point on.



God’s special verse/thought for me today________________



Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________






The 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is divided into three parables. “The Ten Virgins,” “The Talents,” “The Last Judgment”. Evidently, this chapter of Matthew reminds us of three things: first, that the Lord Jesus will come again at the end of time; second, that we shall give an accounting of the lives to the Lord when He comes again on the Last Day, and third, that the Lord will judge us according to our deeds.

But what seems to be striking about the three parables that constitute the 25th chapter of Matthew is that those who are condemned in all three parables are not explicitly described as wicked, immoral, sinful people. The five virgins in the first parable are simply foolish. The third servant in the parable today, who went off after being entrusted with one talent by his master and dug a hole on the ground where he buried the talent, was simply lazy and afraid of his master. And the Parable of the Last Judgment does not paint the condemned as a gang of notorious people. In the third parable, it is very clear that the focus is not on the bad deeds committed but on the good deeds omitted.

As regards the parable today, we may ask, “What immoral thing did the third servant do to deserve the punishment he got from his master? Is burying his talent under the ground for safekeeping sinful? What wicked deed did he do to be so severely penalized? The answers are clear. The third servant did nothing immoral. No, burying his talent under the ground for  safekeeping is not sinful. He did nothing evil. But the problem is that he also did nothing good. For fear of his master, the third servant failed to do the good he is supposed to do: invest the talent entrusted to him. The message relative to the final judgment is clear: we shall be judged not only based on the evil we do but also equally, if not more heavily, on the basis of the good we fail, or worse, refuse to do.

As far as sin is concerned, there are two kinds. One is the sin of commission where we actually do something evil. The other is the sin of omission where we omit doing the good we are supposed to do. Thus, in the final analysis, salvation is not merely a matter of avoiding evil. It is also very much a matter of doing good. Let us avoid doing evil. But let us not forget to do good. If we fear committing sin, should we not also be equally, if not more, afraid to omit good? Fr. Bobby T.

REFLECTION QUESTION: Is there any good I intentionally failed or freely refused to do today?

Father, thank You for entrusting us with Your gifts. May we always use them for the glory of Your name and the salvation of souls. Help us to avoid evil and to do good. Amen.

St. Victorious, bishop, pray for us.

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