November 18, 2020 – 33rd Week in Ordinary Time

“Being prepared to take risks in order to make progress in life!”

(Based on Rev 4:1-11 and Lk 19:11-28 – Wednesday of the 33rd Week in Ordinary Time)

A little tortoise was constantly facing a complex of feeling too low in life.

Seeing the various other animals, moving swiftly and speedily…
… the tortoise would very often hide itself in its shell.

It felt that it could never progress in life!

One day, it came across a wise person and sought an advice of how to get the best from life.

The sage – a wise person – replied:
“My little tortoise, always remember that you have been created specifically.
So never feel low or bad about yourself.

And as far as progressing is concerned…
… Always remember: ‘Unless you stick your neck out, you can never progress!”

That was a simple, yet effective piece of advice, isn’t it

Unless the tortoise “stuck its neck out, it could never progress!”

Sticking the neck out of course, meant “taking a risk”…
… but unless that was done, progress was not going to happen.

The same is true for us in our life as well:

Unless we take risks… Unless we “stick out our necks”
… we can never progress!

The Gospel of the Day is a parable of a person who refused “to stick out his neck”…
… and thus not only failed to progress, but ended up on the losing side!

Jesus presents the very-practical “Parable of the Productive Servants”

A nobleman who, before going to a faraway country, entrusts money to his servants with an instruction, “Engage in trade with these, until I return” (Lk 19: 13)

The money given was a “mina”

A mina was a Greek coin.

The lowest level of the Greek Coinage System was the drachma…
…. equal to one day’s wages. (1 Drachma = 1 day’s wages)

One hundred drachmas equalled one Mina (100 Drachmas = 1 Mina).

Therefore, One Mina equalled nearly 100 days of wages (1 Mina = 100 days wages; i.e. nearly 3 months)

With this (fairly huge) amount of money, the Master instructs the servants to “invest”

Investment always means a “sense of risk!”

The parable goes on to say that…
… one of them made another ten (Lk 19: 16)
… the other made another five (Lk 19:18)

These two are greatly rewarded.

The one “who is willing to take risks” always finds life more rewarding and satisfying!

But, its over here, the parable presents the third servant, who decided to be “Mr. Keep it Safe!”

He came back to his master, with an excuse: “Sir, here is your coin” (Lk 19: 20)

He failed to make any investment

He failed to take “any risk”

He refused to “stick out his neck!”

Sticking the neck out of course, meant “taking a risk”…
… but unless that was done, progress was not going to happen.

And that would make him to end up on the losing side!

The Bible is replete with personalities, who would take “risks”…
… and thus emerge successful!

Noah would “take the risk” of listening to God and build the Ark for rescue from the deluge
Abraham would “take the risk” by obeying God and leaving His country and people
Moses would “take the risk” and trust in God to lead the people out of slavery
Jeremiah would “take the risk” of being a prophet despite of several oppositions to his life
Peter would “take the risk” of leaving his fishing profession to be ‘fishers of men’
… and many many more!

They “risked their life” for God – His Will and His Kingdom!

They would “stick out their neck” in progressing in the ways of God!

How about us?

Do we “take risks?”
… the “risk” to trust in God, in spite of the uncertainties of life
… the “risk” to know God has the best plan for us, despite the many hardships we face in life
… the “risk” to believe that God always walks with us, even though we go through the ‘deserts of life’

May we always realize: Unless we take risks… Unless we “stick out our necks”
… we can never progress!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “He would never exhort the faithful to persevere…

… if he were not ready to give them the power to do so!”

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