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Saturday, September 1, 2007

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1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
Psalm 98
Matthew 25:14-30

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parabolic

"To one he disbursed five thousand silver pieces, to a second two thousand, and to a third a thousand." —Matthew 25:15

Parables are often misinterpreted. It's easy to miss the punch line by getting bogged down in details. For example, the parable about the corrupt judge and persistent widow can be misunderstood so that we think God is unwilling to show His love for us. However, the parable intends to show just the opposite. The Lord will not delay long but will give us swift justice (Lk 18:7-8).

Likewise, the parable of the talents is not about investments, interest, or even industriousness. Jesus is not telling us we can work our way into heaven. Using our talents is an expression of faith in the Lord's power, not an exercise of our own strength, and not an attempt to save ourselves. The Christian life is not a matter of what we have accomplished but what He has accomplished on Calvary.

We will never understand chapter 25 of Matthew's Gospel until we focus on 26, 27, and 28, which recount Jesus' passion, death, and resurrection. We are saved from sin and ready for Jesus' final coming because of His grace accepted by faith. "I repeat, it is owing to His favor that salvation is yours through faith. This is not your own doing, it is God's gift; neither is it a reward for anything you have accomplished, so let no one pride himself on it" (Eph 2:8-9).

Prayer:  Jesus, thank You for saving me. All the glory belongs to You.

Promise:  "Work with your hands as we directed you to do, so that you will give good example to outsiders and want for nothing." —1 Thes 4:11-12

Praise:  John still vividly recalls the day when God opened his mind to a deeper understanding of the Scriptures, and he loves to share that witness with others.

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007

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