Sunday, 2 March 2014

St Matthew 25

The New Advent page for St Matthew 25 can be found here.    Verses 1-15 (parable of the wise and foolish virgins) are used in the Common of Virgins.  The chapter also takes in the parable of the talents, and the sorting of the sheep from the goats (verses 31-46, the Gospel for the Monday after First Sunday of Lent).

Here is the parable of the talents in St Matthew's version:

"Then He spoke again another parable. A man travelling into a far country, called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods; to one five talents, to another two, to another one, to every man according to his several ability, and took his journey. Then, when the two had brought him the double, he that had been entrusted with the one talent brought it alone, and being blamed says, I knew that you are a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered; and I was afraid, and hid your talent; lo! There you have that is yours. His Lord answered and said, Thou wicked servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered: you ought therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I might have received my own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it to him that has ten talents. For to him that has shall be given, and he shall have more abundantly; but from him that has not, shall be taken away even that which he has. And cast the unprofitable servant into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Chrysostom comments:

Let us hearken then to these words. As we have opportunity, let us help on our salvation, let us get oil for our lamps, let us labor to add to our talent. For if we be backward, and spend our time in sloth here, no one will pity us any more hereafter, though we should wail ten thousand times. He also that had on the filthy garments condemned himself, and profited nothing. He also that had the one talent restored that which was committed to his charge, and yet was condemned. The virgins again entreated, and came unto Him and knocked, and all in vain, and without effect.

Knowing then these things, let us contribute alike wealth, and diligence, and protection, and all things for our neighbor's advantage. For the talents here are each person's ability, whether in the way of protection, or in money, or in teaching, or in what thing soever of the kind. Let no man say, I have but one talent, and can do nothing; for you can even by one approve yourself. For you are not poorer than that widow; you are not more uninstructed than Peter and John, who were both unlearned and ignorant men; Acts 4:13 but nevertheless, since they showed forth a zeal, and did all things for the common good, they attained to Heaven. For nothing is so pleasing to God, as to live for the common advantage.

For this end God gave us speech, and hands, and feet, and strength of body, and mind, and understanding, that we might use all these things, both for our own salvation, and for our neighbor's advantage. For not for hymns only and thanksgivings is our speech serviceable to us, but it is profitable also for instruction and admonition. And if indeed we used it to this end, we should be imitating our Master; but if for the opposite ends, the devil. Since Peter also, when he confessed the Christ, was blessed, as having spoken the words of the Father; but when he refused the cross, and dissuaded it, he was severely reproved, as savoring the things of the devil. But if where the saying was of ignorance, so heavy is the blame, when we of our own will commit many sins, what favor shall we have?

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