The Gospel reading from the Mass for Wednesday for the 33rd Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 19:11-28.

Nearing Jerusalem and His Passion, Christ responds to the widespread false Jewish belief that the Messiah would take the political throne in Jerusalem and usher in an immediate world-wide Kingdom of God. To address this misconception, Christ gives in The Parable of the Ten Pounds (called the Parable of the Talents in Matthew). Christ alludes to His Kingdom is far away (a far country), He will be absent for a time, will return to settle up accounts and men will be held accountable.

Jesus Christ (the nobleman) will ascend to Heaven (a far country) and be crowned King (be granted kingly power). Christ has entrusted the Gospel (10 pounds; about 3 years of wages) to His disciples (servants), expecting them to lead others to the Kingdom (return on investment).  Each man (servant) will be called before Christ (the King) to account at the Judgment (the King comes to settle accounts). Men (servants) who deliver outstanding results (50 and 100% returns on talents!) are enthusiastically acknowledged (“Well done”) and rewarded (given great authority) by Christ (the King).

Men who fail to offer Christ a return (the servant hides the 10 pounds away in a napkin) because of fear of responsibility, stupidity (did not earn interest in a bank) or laziness (slothful) will be harshly rebuked (“wicked”) and stripped of responsibility (pounds taken away). Christ confirms that those who rebel against His Kingdom are His enemies and will be cast into Hell (“Slay them before me”).

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 Teacher, Christ teaches with compelling parables that continue to inspire men today. Divine Judge, Christ judges men and that some will be rewarded with eternal joy and others with eternal despair.

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Many men are live as if Catholicism is a low-expectation faith. Reflect upon Christ’s careful construction of this parable (and many other teachings) that describes His high expectations and the rewards and very harsh punishments (“Slay them before me”) of Judgment; let holy fear motivate your actions to serve Christ the King.

2) Christ gives every man both common and different gifts: the gift of life, abilities (functional skills, spiritual gifts, etc.) and resources (financial, material gifts, etc.).  Reflect upon the Equality and Differences Among Men (CCC 225, 340, 357, 791, 1934-1938) and pray for Christ to help you and all men be grateful and to use the talents He has given them to build the Kingdom.

3) In responding to Christ’s difficult sayings (“slay them before me”), some falsely claim that all Christ’s tough sayings are really just hyperbole (exaggeration) to make a point; Christ gives harsh warnings and does not make mistakes. Review the Catechism’s teaching on the Just Use of Force (CCC 2307-2317) and the Death Penalty (CCC 2267) and pray for Christ to guide you to avoid violence but to always protect and defend the weak using appropriate means.

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Glorious Mysteries

Daily Devotion – Saint Joseph

Virtue of the Day – Temperance

Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the imprisoned

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To comfort the sorrowful