Today, we contemplate the parable of the Talents. Here, we can appreciate something like a change of style in Jesus' message: the announcement of the Kingdom is no longer limited to point out its nearness but to the description of its contents through stories: it is the time of the parables!
A great man sets out to start a long trip, and entrusts his assets to his servants. He might have distributed them equally, but he preferred not to. He gave each one according to his abilities (five, two and one). Each servant could capitalize with that money the beginning of a good business. The two first servants did well administering their deposits, but the third one —through fear or laziness— preferred to hide it away and eluded any investment: he chose the comfort of his own poverty.
The master came back... and asked for a reckoning. He rewarded the courage and foresight of the two first servants that were able to duplicate his entrusted deposits. But the treatment to the “cautious” servant was very different.
Two thousand years later the message of this parable is still very much applicable. Modern democracies are moving towards a progressive separation between Church and State, which is not bad; rather on the contrary. However, this global and progressive mentality hides a secondary effect, which may be dangerous for us Christians: to become the living image of that third servant whom the master (biblical figure of God Father) scolded to with great severity. Without any malice, just out of comfort or fear, we are running the risk of hiding away and reducing our Christian faith to the private environment of our family and intimate friends. The Gospel should not be limited to a reading and sterile contemplation. With courage and risk, we have to manage our Christian vocation in our own social and professional environment, while proclaiming the figure of Christ with words and examples.
St. Augustine cites: «Those of us who preach the word of God to the people are not so far away from human condition and from the thinking supported by faith that we may not realize our own dangers. But we are consoled by the fact that where our risk lies because of our Christian ministry, we have the help of your prayers».