Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time

     The basic message of today’s Gospel is that we all have talents. Our Lord Jesus has taken a beautiful lesson on the power of positive thinking through the parable of talents. We know from experience that different people have different abilities the rich man in today’s parable was aware of the abilities of his servants. Before he set out on his journey, he entrusted his property “to each in proportion to his ability.” He knew what each of his three servants was able for, and he only gave as much responsibility to each of them as each could carry.

     The man who received five talents of money could make five more; the one who received two talents could make two more; the one who received one talent could make one more. The first two servants worked according to their ability. The third servant did not, giving his master back the one talent, he had been given, instead of the two talents he could gain. What held this servant back from working according to his ability was fear. “I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground.”

     Many of us may find ourselves having some sympathy for the third servant, because, deep down, we are only too well aware how fear can hold us back and prevent us from doing what we are well capable of doing. Fear can be a much more powerful force in the lives of some than others. There can be many reasons for this. Those who have experienced a lot of criticism growing up can be slow to take a risk and may develop a fearful approach to life.

     The tragedy of the third servant in the parable today is that, out of fear, he hid what had been entrusted to him, even though he had the ability to use it well. We have each been graced in some way by the Lord for the service of others. If I hide what the Lord has given me, others are thereby deprived. Most of us need a bit of encouragement to place our gifts at the disposal of others. Part of our baptismal calling is to give others courage, to encourage others.  Paul writes: “Encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.” In these difficult times for the church, the ministry of encouragement is more necessary. There is much to be learned from the mistakes of the past.


Fr. Albert


Sacred Heart Catholic Church

837 Jeanette St. 

Abilene, TX 79602



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