When you hear the parable of the king and the servants, which servant do you think you’d be? I think many would say the second one. It’s a safe place to be ... not overconfident but also not the one who did nothing and was punished. None of us wants to think we’d be the servant who merely preserved what was given to him.
It’s worth mentioning that Jesus is using this parable to convey a double-level message. The first has to do with the Kingdom of God. It’s because Jesus is near Jerusalem that people were wondering if the Kingdom of God would appear there immediately. The answer is no.
Jesus uses the parable of the nobleman who goes to a distant country to become king and then return. This would have made people of this time think of Archelaus, who was Herod the Great’s son who traveled to Rome after his father’s death to be confirmed as ruler of the kingdom.
However, the people would have seen the difference between Archelaus and the noble king. Archelaus was a tyrant, and his actions would have been seen as unjust and cruel. The nobleman who returns as king shows his care and trust as he gives coins of great value to his servants to use. And, likewise, when he returns, he justly calls for a report of what they did with them.
As a point of reference, these coins weren’t a small amount of money; each coin was worth one hundred days’ wages.
What does this mean to us?
Our King – Jesus - has given us, as He gave the first disciples, graces through the Holy Spirit to accomplish our mission on earth. One day, each of us will stand before our King, and be asked to account for how we used the graces given to us.
Jesus, the generous King, wants to reward us, here on earth, and one day in Heaven. But for that to happen, we need to reflect on our mission in life and trust God to use the graces He gives us each day.
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About Father David Marcham
Reverend David S. Marcham is the Vice Postulator for the Cause of Venerable Patrick Peyton, and Director of the Father Peyton Guild, whose members pray for Father Peyton’s beatification and spread his message of the importance of Family Prayer. Prior to becoming a seminarian, Father David was a physical therapist and clinical instructor, serving hospital inpatients and outpatients throughout the greater Boston area for eleven years. In 1998 he heard the call to priesthood and was ordained in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2005. Father David grew up in Quincy, MA, and has fond memories of playing soccer, tennis and running track. You’re never without a friend when Father David is around, as he welcomes everyone into his circle with a smile on his face!