St. Augustine of Hippo, Bishop & Doctor of the Church
1 Thessalonians 4:9-11 + Matthew 25:14-30
August 28, 2021
“A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.”
It’s helpful to remember that the parables proclaimed at Holy Mass yesterday and today come from Chapter 25 of Matthew. This is the final chapter before Matthew’s account of the Last Supper and the events that follow. The section from which these parables come is sometimes called “the Olivet discourse”, in which Jesus’ attention is fixed on the judgment of Jerusalem.
We should not be aloof, though, in listening to Jesus’ words of judgment against Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem in the Old Testament is roughly analogous to the Body of Christ in the New Testament. Jerusalem was meant to be the dwelling place of God on earth, where His holy people would dwell in unity. In this light we ought to listen to this parable and consider how God will judge us.
The multiplicity of servants in today’s parable offers us hope, as well as room for cautious consideration. We might ask, “Which of these servants do I most resemble?” Perhaps, for example, we need to be jarred from self-complacency, and look hard at the last servant.
To avoid hearing the ultimate sentence of today’s parable, we ought to reflect on the penultimate sentence: “For to everyone who has, more will be given… but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” These words give focus to this parable, and can help us use it as an examination of conscience.