Read­ing Time: 3 minutes



As I noted in my reflec­tion last week, the 25th chapter of the Gos­pel accord­ing to Mat­thew con­tains at least three inter­est­ing and sur­pris­ing epis­odes. They are inter­est­ing and sur­pris­ing because they con­cern the events of the after­life, and Jesus appears to be speak­ing dif­fer­ently. The first epis­ode is about the wise and fool­ish brides­maids (Matt 25:1–13); the second is the Gos­pel read­ing of this Sunday con­cern­ing our vari­ous tal­ents and how we use them (Matt 25:14–30); and the third epis­ode is the event of the D‑Day, the sep­ar­a­tion of the sheep from the goats (Matt 25:31–46). The story of the tal­ents is a con­tinu­ation of the elab­or­a­tion on the nature of the king­dom of God. With the con­clu­sion of the ten brides­maids to keep awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour of the com­ing of the bride­groom (Matt 25:13), Mat­thew 25:14 indic­ates the begin­ning of a new epis­ode. The story of the tal­ents cla­ri­fies fur­ther the concept of the story of the ten vir­gins. It is about man­aging my tal­ent. And what do we see as tal­ent? As R. Dravid observes, “I think we judge tal­ent wrong. What do we see as tal­ent? I think I have made the same mis­take myself. We judge tal­ent by people’s abil­ity to strike a crick­et ball. The sweet­ness, the tim­ing. That’s the only thing we see as tal­ent. Things like determ­in­a­tion, cour­age, dis­cip­line, and tem­pera­ment are also tal­ents.” The king­dom of God implies and involves accountability. 


Accountability and God’s kingdom

Accord­ing to its pop­u­lar defin­i­tion, account­ab­il­ity is an oblig­a­tion or will­ing­ness to accept respons­ib­il­ity or to account for one’s actions. In our con­text, account­ab­il­ity also means giv­ing an account of a person’s activ­it­ies. In the Gos­pel accord­ing to Mark (6:7–13), the author records that Jesus sent his Twelve dis­ciples, two by two, on a mis­sion. More inter­est­ing is what Mark reports in verse 30 of the same sixth chapter of the Gos­pel. Mark observes with keen interest that the “apostles gathered around Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.” In oth­er words, they gave Jesus an account of their mis­sion. In the same way, lead­ers (reli­gious and civil) must always give an object­ive account of their oper­a­tions to the people for whom they are work­ing. The prob­lem of non-account­ab­il­ity is a ser­i­ous one, both among civil lead­ers and espe­cially among reli­gious lead­ers. While the apostles of Jesus and the two ser­vants who were giv­en five and two tal­ents are pure examples of account­ab­il­ity and respons­ib­il­ity, the man­ager of the story in Luke 16:1–13, and the third ser­vant in Mat­thew 25:14–30 are typ­ic­al examples of non-account­ab­il­ity and irre­spons­ib­il­ity. While the syn­onym of account­ab­il­ity is answer­ab­il­ity or answer­able­ness, the hyper­nym is respons­ib­il­ity or respons­ive­ness. That means to be account­able is to be answer­able and respons­ible. The inab­il­ity to give an account is a sign of gross irre­spons­ib­il­ity. Every right­eous and just admin­is­trat­or must avoid this.


Dear read­er, where is your tal­ent? Are you mak­ing adequate use of it? Or have you decided to deac­tiv­ate it by bury­ing it? Remem­ber, the con­sequence is to be declared wicked, lazy, unworthy, unfaith­ful, use­less, and liable to expul­sion into the out­er dark­ness for fail­ure to make good use of the time and oppor­tun­it­ies giv­en to you. Dif­fi­culties and prob­lems not­with­stand­ing, let your tal­ent con­tin­ue to shine. Like the story of the ten brides­maids, the story of the tal­ents also teaches us that every per­son is respons­ible for his or her spir­itu­al con­di­tion and, there­fore, for his or her sal­va­tion. Mak­ing your tal­ents func­tion­al means work­ing for your sal­va­tion. Con­trar­ily, bury­ing your tal­ent means want­ing to inher­it the king­dom of God but not doing any­thing to real­ize it.


FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPY OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vol. I)!! The reflec­tion for the 33rd Sunday is found on pages 533–543. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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