‘I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.’ Luke 19:26
In both our reading from First Samuel and in Luke, we have references to kings. In Samuel, we have the young Saul, chosen by God to be the first king of Israel. He is just in his beginnings, and not yet with the burden of his leadership fully set on his shoulders. In Luke, Jesus tells a parable of a king who goes on a journey and leaves his servants responsible for some of his holdings, and the consequences of how they responded to the king’s mandate. The first was quite productive, earning his master ten times the amount he started with. Similarly, the second did well, producing five times over what he was given to work with. The third, unfortunately, allowed fear to keep him from fulfilling his responsibility to the king; the servant wasted his talent.
On the surface, this parable shows us what happens when one exercises his gifts, the result being a cultivation of other gifts. The one who chooses not to exercise his gifts will lose what he has.
Jesus is the King of kings who has left us, His servants, to manage the gifts He has bestowed upon us, for the building up of His kingdom. All of us have been given gifts – charisms if you will – by which we are to glorify God and bring others into His kingdom. Which of the servants’ examples are you following? Are you faithful to use your gifts for God’s benefit? Or, like many others, are they used for your own glory? To put forth our gifts for others is so counter to the culture of self-aggrandizement, a culture that acts in self-promotion to fulfill its desire of obtaining power or importance.
Yet, the King we serve will has not come to be served, nor to acquire power. He came emptying Himself for others’ sake. He placed all he had (his gifts) out there, with only the will of the Father in mind. The abundance of what he was given, was poured out in self-emptying. Should we do no less?
May God bless you.