1. Introductory prayer
I calm down and I feel the presence of God in me. I ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit to open the word of God, I accept it and allow it to fulfill my mission in me, in order to become more and more what I am in Holy Trinity. Then I ask God for this prayer, in my own words, or with those that are here…
Love spreads through giving. When I get scared, I shut myself in, because I want to keep something, I actually lose it. If I manage to open up in the awareness that I have everything I need and put it forward, I get back this and more. This is how Love works. However, I never know what I’m going to get, so opening up and giving, is perceived as a risk. But he who refuses to take risks loses the kingdom. Lord Jesus, you have given everything and so you have given us everything – salvation. Guide me, please, by your example of risk, to open myself to the gifts of your Love, and I continue to do so.
2. Reading – Listening: Parable of the Talents – Matthew 25 14 30 – Meaning and Commentary
Parable of the Talents
14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord’s money.
19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
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20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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3. Thoughts on the Gospel – Parable of the Talents – Matthew 25 14 30 – Meaning and Commentary
The parable of the talents tells of a master who, before leaving for the journey, distributed his possessions to the servants. He gave them five, two, and one talent-bags of gold, according to the ability of each of them. The talent corresponds to 34 kilograms of gold, which is not a small amount! Then the master went abroad and stayed there for a long time. The story leaves us confused at this point. We don’t know why the master distributed his money to the servants, we don’t know what the end of the story will be. Perhaps the purpose is for all of us who listen to the opportunity to face our lives alongside the story presented in the opportunity.
The first two servants worked and doubled the talents obtained. But he who received one talent buried it in order to keep it and not lose it. It is a question of the wealth of the kingdom, which is given to individuals and communities according to their capacities. Everyone receives some wealth, but not everyone responds the same way!
After a long time, the master returns to settle accounts with the servants. The first two say the same thing, and the master responds in the same way to both: “All right, good and faithful servant! … ”And the third servant said,“ Master, I knew you were a hard man … ”
Jesus takes this opportunity to criticize the false image of God. The servant sees in God a hard master. Such a God, man fears and hides behind the exact observance of the law. Man thus believes that he will avoid judgment and that the legislature will not punish him. So did some of the Pharisees. In reality, such a person does not trust God, he only trusts himself and his interpretation of the law. Such a person is far from God and cares for others. He is incapable of living freedom because the false image of God closes him in, kills the community, and prevents a joyful life.
The master orders that this talent be taken away from him, and that to those who already have it, “For whoever has, it will be given and will have abundance, and to him who does not have, what he has will be taken away.” This is the key that explains everything. Talent is everything that makes a community grow and reveal the presence of God. When a man is closed in on himself for fear of losing what little he has, he loses what little he has because love dies, justice weakens, division disappears. Instead, a person who does not think only of himself and gives himself to others, grows and – surprisingly – receives everything he has given, and much more. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of me will find it.” (Mt 10:39).
There is no difference between those who receive more and those who receive less. They all receive according to their capabilities. It is important that the gift is given in the service of the kingdom and that because of this the treasures of the kingdom grow. These treasures are love, brotherhood, and sharing. The main key to the parable is not in the multiplication of talents, but it indicates the way our relationship with God should be lived. The first two servants do not ask for anything, do not seek their wealth, do not keep talents for themselves, do not count, do not measure. Very naturally, almost without awareness and without seeking any merit for themselves, they start working. The third servant, who is afraid, does nothing about it. He acts properly according to the norms of ancient law. HE remains within the framework of established laws. He loses nothing, but he also gains nothing. But in the kingdom, he loses even what he had because of it. The kingdom is a risk. He who refuses to take risks loses it!
4. Meditation – thinking
About everything I have read and what has touched me, I am thinking now. I let my thoughts also touch my heart. Think:
- The Lord has given us everything. I look at life together with the Lord and give thanks for all He has given me.
- In what area am I afraid, cramped, paralyzed? I ask the Lord to enter my numbness.
- We are embraced with the greatest love. If I continue to give another gift in this awareness, what could it develop into?
5. Personal Prayer
In the next moments of silence, I talk about this with Jesus. I tell him what I think, what I feel, what I want. I ask him for the grace that I need for … (make your conversation with God).
6. Contemplation – Quiet moment with God
Now I let silence be in me. I am simply present in God, as He is quietly present in me. Perhaps from this silence, I hear God’s speech, which invites me perhaps in thanksgiving and worship or to open myself and accept him in my path life and work, maybe He gives me the courage to continue searching for…
When I walk into a personal relationship with God, he changes me, makes me more loving, and encourages me to the concrete action, which is….. (write down your insights for concrete action).
8. Prayer at the end
Thank you, good and loving Father, for our relationship, which is a relationship with the living God. You give me everything, waterfalls of grace because you love me. For you, I am the daughter of light, the son of light – thank you for rooting me in You so that I cannot lose the ground beneath my feet. And so courage, joy, creativity, the initiative can be born, we can be virtuous wives and virtuous men. Thank you, God of Love.
9. Review of my prayer meditation or reflection
This is my view on what was happening in me at the time, I spent praying. In my reflection, I can help myself with the following questions:
- How was I feeling when I started praying?
- What happened during the prayer?
- What feelings and thoughts could I detect in myself?
- How did I feel about the revelations, which I had during my prayer?
- What did I learn about myself, about God, about his attitude towards me and others and me to him and others?
- How did I finish my prayer?
- What did I receive for my everyday life?
- In the end, I can write the lessons, findings, and insights. I can write also, where I had problems, they may have great value in learning about my relationship and myself with God. They can also help to find a more appropriate way of prayer for me.
- Then I thank the Holy Trinity. If I pray with my family or in the community, friends, I can share with them what I felt in this prayer. With a prayer for one another, you can support yourself throughout the week.
Lectio Divina meditations are published and adapted with permission from the Jesuits home – ignacijevdom.si
Text from the Bible – King James Version (NIV)