The Gospel reading from the Mass for Saturday of the 18th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 25:14-30.

Having exhorted men to be watchful and prepared for His coming as the Passion draws near, Christ continues His teaching about the Kingdom of Heaven in The Parable of the Talents by revealing what He expects from from His disciples. Jesus Christ (the master) has entrusted the Gospel (wealth/talents) to His disciples (servants) and expects men to lead others to the Kingdom (return on investment). Christ (the master) gives each man (servant) gifts (talents), each receiving varying (talents of 5, 3, 1) and substantial gifts (a talent is equal to several million in today’s dollars).

Each man (servant) will be called before Christ (the master) to account at the Judgment (master comes to settle accounts). Men (servants) who deliver outstanding results (100% return on talents!) are enthusiastically acknowledged (“Well done”) and rewarded (“enter your Master’s joy”) by Christ (the master) and given more responsibility (“will set you over much”).

Men who fail to offer Christ a return (the servant who buries 1 talent) because of fear of responsibility, stupidity (did not put the talent in the bank) or laziness (slothful) will be harshly rebuked (“wicked”), stripped of responsibility (talent taken away) and cast into Hell (“outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth”).

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ offers insights into the mind of God and the future event of Judgment. Divine King, Christ has high expectations for every man to bear fruits with the gifts given and He rewards and punishes men based on their results. Divine Judge, Christ judges men; some will be rewarded with eternal joy and others with eternal despair.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) While many men live as if Catholicism is a low-expectation faith, Christ is a demanding King. Reflect on Christ’s careful construction of this parable (and many other teachings) that describes His high expectations and the rewards and punishments of Judgment (CCC 546).

2) While many today demand equality in outcomes (equal wages, equal access to education/jobs), Christ makes it clear that men have different worldly capabilities and potentials. Review the Catechism’s teaching on the Equality and Differences among Men (CCC 1934-1938) and pray for Christ to help you accept recognize differences in people while upholding the dignity of every human soul.

3) In this parable, Christ reveals that Catholic men are choosing their eternal destiny every day by how they use their talents. Refresh your understanding of the Judgment (CCC 393, 678-679, 1021-1022) and pray for Christ to give you the grace to cultivate and use your talents to build His Kingdom today.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtue of the Day – Hope

Corporal Work of Mercy – To bury the dead

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To pray for the living and the dead