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Stewards and not masters

After referring in the previous themes on the Lordship of Christ to what man is and has, we can conclude without erring that man surely is not the owner, but STEWARD, of all that the Lord has placed under his care: the spiritual gifts, the time, the material goods, the intellectual faculties, the family, his own body and many other subjects and realities.

In its entire context the word of God, does not keep a margin for doubt: we are stewards of all that we are and have. Let us have a look at one of the Parables that throws more light over our status as stewards.

“At that time Jesus told this Parable to his disciples: “It is like a man about to go abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one, each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out on his journey. The man who had received five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. Now a long time afterwards, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir,” he said, “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.” Next the man with the two talents came forward, “Sir,” he said, “you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy servant; you have shown you are trustworthy in small things; I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.” Last came forward the man who had the single talent. “Sir,” said he, “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you had not sown and gathering where you had not scattered; so I was afraid and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.” But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have got my money back with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has ten talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but anyone who has not, will be deprived even of what he has. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him into the darkness outside, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth” (Mt 25:14-30).

Many are the teachings that we can draw from this Parable of Talents:

·        The Lord gives talents to all; more to some, less to others. But no one remains without receiving. In many occasions the problem is the lack of knowledge and the lack of use of these talents.

·        The Lord wants us to make use of the gifts he has given us, thus serving his Kingdom. He does not want us to remain idle, and he rewards diligence and hard-work. “At once” those who had received the five and the two talents began to work and this suggests that they were making good use of time. On the contrary, when he addressed the one who had received a single talent and had returned it as such, he called him lazy.

·        The Lord comes asking for the fruits of the labour. Early or late, he will come and of this we have no doubts. We have to present an account before him, as every steward should present an account before his master.

·        In the Lord’s opinion, it does not matter whether what one has received is much or less; what matters is one’s faithfulness to what one has received.

We cannot nor should we try to justify ourselves before the Lord saying that we have done nothing wrong -that on the other hand surely we do- for the Lord wants good fruit. The one who had received the single talent did not misspent or lost it. He kept it, carefully, for no one to take it away. Therefore, we cannot present ourselves before the Lord with empty hands and even less we can present ourselves with some merit, because who is capable of presenting himself before the Lord saying “I did this, or did that”? For us rest to trust in his mercy.

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