These past few days Jesus has been talking about being ready, getting ourselves ready for the end times, the last days. He continues along that theme in today's Gospel selection with the parable of the three slaves given 5 talents, 2 talents and 1 talent and what they did with those gifts.
We all have different gifts, different things we have energy around, different levels of desire to "do" certain things while others we do our best to stay away from. There are times, naturally, where we just don't feel like "doing" those things we are called upon to do, those things that we have gifts and abilities to do. I do not think Jesus is talking about those particular times in all of our lives. I do think Jesus is talking about times when we purposefully ignore, and over the course of a longer period of time, do not live up to, or into, the life to which our gifts and abilities can lead us.
There is a joy in accomplishing a task, in completing a challenging assignment. There is also a joy in actually living into and actually doing that work we have abilities to do. All of these recent readings we have been having in our Gospel have been focused on being ready, being watchful, doing the work we are called to do before it is too late. Having these kinds of focused readings in Advent is a good reminder of what this season is all about: getting ready for what we celebrate a week from today. In a way, we celebrate the world ending a week from today, the coming of God into the world in a new way signals the end.... and the beginning.
In Eucharistic Prayer B there is a phrase toward the beginning of the prayer that starts "In these last days....." Jesus is reminding us with this parable of the talents that we are in these last days; that the celebration of the Word becoming flesh we are preparing for seven days from today marks an end to all things, and the beginning of new....all of which allows us to enter into the joy that is God's embrace. All we have to do is be our better selves.
Copyright 2009, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.