The Gospel today and also next Sunday are parables of the Last Judgment. In both of these Gospels those who are punished – are not punished for something they did, but for something they did not do. In today’s Gospel the slave is punished for failing to make a profit with the money entrusted to him.
Why does he not invest the money? He is afraid. If he looses his master’s money who knows how he might react. In the end he’s punished anyway for failing to produce a profit.
The other two slaves – they double their money. To have such success they must have been pretty aggressive in their dealings and made some risky decisions.
The wicked slave was afraid to take a risk. The Lord is calling us to take risks.
It is a risk to evangelize – to share the good news of what God has done in our lives. Maybe people will think we are weird or accuse us of being judgmental, of thinking we are better than everyone else. Or maybe they will be inspired by our words, maybe they will start to pray a little more, maybe they will have a profound conversion.
It is a risk to live our faith consistently in our workplace – to say to our supervisor: I cannot say this to the customer because it’s not true. Maybe I might create tension, loose respect, even loose my job. Or maybe I will gain respect for having integrity, maybe I will change the culture of my workplace.
It is a risk to help the needy – if I give this guy something he will come back for more, and bring his friends and we will have to use up the parish resources. Maybe. Or Maybe others will be inspired to share in the good work we are doing and become more generous, lending not only their money but their hands and feet.
Pursuing a vocation is a risk. If I become a priest or religious sister, maybe later on I will be lonely and want to get married. Or Maybe I will touch many lives. Maybe I will help other lonely people realize someone cares.
To get Married is risky. What if the person changes and we don’t get a long any more? What if they don’t change and we get bored with them. Can we make forever? Nobody knows what will happen. Maybe having to patience with another person, forgiving them, sticking by them with their weakness will make you more humble and more holy – give hope to others who are struggling to be faithful.
Receiving the children from God is risky. Will we be able to afford it? Do we have the time and energy for another child? What if there is a complication, illness or disability. Certainly it won’t be easy. But Maybe you’ll find it’s not so hard, maybe you’ll get better at it over time. Maybe this child is destined to be someone important – a prime minister, research the cure for cancer, the next Canadian saint. Maybe you will have to stretch the budget, maybe you will have to care for a child with special needs – but maybe these experiences will enrich your life reminding you what is most important, forcing you to trust more in God in the end save your soul.
It is true that not every risk is going to turn out well. Sometimes we will get burned and beat up. Sometimes we will end up empty handed. But at least we can say we tried. If we do nothing we will have nothing.
Pope Francis has said “I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security”
God is a risk taker. He created this marvellous world for us – risking we might abuse it and destroy it. He sent his Son to show his love – even though he would be rejected, beaten and bruised. He is the good shepherd looking for the lost sheep, ready to bring it home, not knowing for sure if the sheep wants to be found. He is sower, sowing seed abundantly, knowing that some of it may never grow. He comes to us each Sunday in the Holy Eucharist, hoping to enter our hearts – knowing that many will receive him unworthily and carelessly.
God puts everything on the line in order to save us. What will we be willing to risk to build up his kingdom?