From Father Tom …

Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus said, “It is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Again, in this week’s Gospel we are remined of the “outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” if we are displeasing to, and are straight forward with, our master. At least that is what it seems the parable is telling us. 

Bishop Loya released a video/Pastoral letter that he wanted read at every Episcopal church in Minnesota in case you missed it here is a link to the video: https://vimeo.com/476330770

Shortly before the election I said to my wife, Alexis, that I had a generally bad feeling regarding the outcome of our presidential election. I felt there was a real possibility of civil war within our country over the outcome. I feared there would be one party’s refusal to accept the election and relinquish control while the other party would feel that they rightly belonged in the office of the commander in chief. I was afraid that people loyal to their side (whichever that would be) might become so enraged and impassioned that they took matters into their own hands. May God help us if this happens. In fact, our Bishop of Minnesota, Craig Loya, said it best when he described this as a “bitterly divisive election” which highlighted the “deep fractures in our lives, society, economic and racial structures”. (Loya)

We as Episcopalians need to be the leading force that bridges the gap by our actions and helps heals the wounds in the world. As written in the Book of Common Prayer “not only with our mouths but also in our lives”. Actions speak louder than words, right? Bishop Loya continued, “We need to be willing to give up our seat at the table so that the poor, the hungry, the oppressed, the unjust, can have a seat”.  These are the things that Jesus actually did! This is what it means to be followers of Jesus! To always stive to make Beloved Community a reality.

Our country is hurting right now. Many feel that they were wronged, and that they deserve the recognition of having achieved the 270 electoral votes required to win the white house.  Are we as Episcopalians willing to take the steps necessary to bring about real change in our church, community, country, and world? Are we willing to truly respect the dignity of every human being and give up our seat at God’s table so that one of those that Bishop Loya mentions above can have a seat? Because that is what Jesus would do. “Jesus’ love has the power to mend and heal an angry and divided world and country.” (Loya)

Love is the only force on this earth that can conquer evil. Jesus himself is quoted by John (15:13) “A greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” This week we are celebrating Veterans day. A day when we remember and honor those who did just that. May their lives and their sacrifices not be in vain.

God’s peace be with you,
Father Tom

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