Rev 4,1-11 / Lk 19,11-28

While they were listening to Jesus speak, Jesus proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem and they thought that the kingdom of God would appear there immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return. He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’ His fellow citizens, however, despised him and sent a delegation after him to announce, ‘We do not want this man to be our king.’ But when he returned after obtaining the kingship, he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money, to learn what they had gained by trading.  The first came forward and said, ‘Sir your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’ He replied, ‘Well done, good servant! You have been faithful in this very small matter; take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came and reported,

‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’ And to this servant too he said, ‘You, take charge of five cities.  Then other servants came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it stored away in a handkerchief, for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding person; you take up what you did not lay down and you harvest what you did not plant.’ He said to him, ‘With your own words I shall condemn you, you wicked servant. You knew I was a demanding person, taking up what I did not lay down and harvesting what I did not plant; why did you not put my money in a bank? Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’ And to those standing by he said, ‘Take the gold coin from him and give it to the servant who has ten.’

But they said to him, ‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’ I tell you, to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken ,away. Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king, bring them here and slay them before me.” After he had said this, he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.



In 1947 a teenage Arab shepherd boy found the first Dead Sea Scrolls in a cave. These are handcopied scripts of the Bible on leather scrolls about 2,000 years old. Jesus could have read from them himself.

The boy sold the priceless scrolls very cheaply to a leather worker in Bethlehem. The buyer thought he could use the leather to repair shoes but later thought the scrolls were too valuable. He turned them over to scholars instead.

These scrolls we know now were copies of the Bible we accept as the Word of God and used to further help Biblical scholars determine the genuineness of the Bible today.

This story dramatizes the point Jesus makes in today’s story about the gold coins entrusted to different servants. One was given ten, another five, and still another, one. What mattered was not how many each one received, but what the servants did with what was entrusted to each. The first two doubled their coins. But he who received only one did not do anything to make it productive.

God entrusts each of us with certain gifts and talents as a test and as a trust. At the end of our life, we will be evaluated and rewarded according to how well we handled what God entrusted to us. We can use them for worthwhile and noble purposes or just want to waste them. But remember that everything that we do with them here on earth has eternal implications. “If you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?” (Luke 16:11).

  • Fr. Jun de Ocampo, SVD | Archdiocese of Berlin, Germany

The Word in other words 2016

An annual project of Logos Publications, The WORD in Other Words Bible Diary contains daily scripture readings and reflections written by priest, brothers, and sisters of the three congregations founded by St. Arnold Janssen (the SVD, SSpS, and SSpSAP). It hopes to serve as a daily companion to readers who continually seek the correlation of the Word of God and human experience.