As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’ He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ He said to him, ‘And you, rule over five cities.’ Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’
He said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’ He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) ‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’”
After he had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
I incessantly check the front door for the package that was supposed to be delivered yesterday. I constantly check Facebook to see how many ‘likes’ I’ve accumulated on my photos. Instant gratification is what I’ve been raised with and what I expect these days. We all seem convinced that without faster, better, stronger products the world will all fall apart.
The go-getting noble in Jesus’ parable punishes those who act out of fear and rewards the “hard workers” who find ways to satisfy his demanding nature. This story makes me wonder about that king, and even myself. Where do the demand and the punishing drive come from? Is fear at work in the story and in my life? When am I thinking less of a real friendship and more about the fear of not receiving instant ‘likes”? Does fear or worry about posting the perfect photo share prevent me from starting a genuine conversation about my imperfect life?
Where can I let go of fear and cherish the present so I am ready to greet the future as it comes?
—Jeff Thiele is junior studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan. He is an active student leader at St. Mary’s Student Parish in Ann Arbor.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
—St. Francis of Assisi