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Faith Formation Matrimony Sacraments Sacred Scripture Splendid Sundays

Splendid Sundays: Saving our Spouses

Today’s Mass Readings, with a reflection below.

The marriage of Mary and Joseph.

 

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 157

Reading 1      Prv 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31

As a noun, a distaff, also called a rock, is a tool used in spinning. It is designed to hold the unspun fibers, keeping them untangled and thus easing the spinning process. It is most commonly used to hold flax, and sometimes wool, but can be used for any type of fiber. - Wikipedia

When one finds a worthy wife,
her value is far beyond pearls.
Her husband, entrusting his heart to her,
has an unfailing prize.
She brings him good, and not evil,
all the days of her life.
She obtains wool and flax
and works with loving hands.
She puts her hands to the distaff,
and her fingers ply the spindle.
She reaches out her hands to the poor,
and extends her arms to the needy.
Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting;
the woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
Give her a reward for her labors,
and let her works praise her at the city gates.

Responsorial Psalm      Ps 128:1-2, 3, 4-5

R. (cf. 1a) Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Blessed are you who fear the LORD,
who walk in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
Your children like olive plants
around your table.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
R. Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Reading 2      1 Thes 5:1-6

Concerning times and seasons, brothers and sisters,
you have no need for anything to be written to you.
For you yourselves know very well that the day of the Lord will come
like a thief at night.
When people are saying, “Peace and security, ”
then sudden disaster comes upon them,
like labor pains upon a pregnant woman,
and they will not escape.But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober.

Gospel Mt      25:14-30

An ancient Greek amphora. A talent was approximately the mass of the water required to fill an amphora.

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master’s money.After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.’
His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'”

or Mt 25:14-15, 19-21

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.

After a long time
the master of those servants came back
and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward
bringing the additional five.
He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master’s joy.'”

Reflection

The Church teaches that the primary function of marriage is to encourage your spouse in holiness so that God can fill him or her with sanctifying and saving Grace.  We pray that our spouse will one day hear the Master say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” and reside in Heaven forever.

In the Proverbs passage, the man who receives the worthy wife has received a “five talents” wife.  Perhaps this wife sees her husband as five talents given to her by God and she is in turn giving thanks for this gift by fearing the Lord and walking in His ways.  By her obedience to  God she works hard and enjoys what the psalm promises that she will be favored and eat the fruit of her handiwork.  This wife is an example to us for how to be the spouse God designed for the sacrament of marriage.

For reference I tried looking up how much a talent is in today’s terms.  A talent is a measurement of weight, and in this context means a measurement of precious metal, possibly gold.  The best I could find was that one talent is worth 20 year’s wages, and another estimated one talent to be worth over  million dollars.  So we’re not talking nickles here.

For those of us who are married, is our approach to our vocation reflective of the number of talents we see that God has given us in our spouses?  God has entrusted to us another soul.  That soul is worth many talents, worth more than pearls.  How are we helping God double the talents of our spouse for His glory?  Does our prayer life as a couple suffer because of demanding schedules?  Are we making selfless sacrifices to make sure our spouse can get to confession or Adoration?  Are we staying strong amidst the daily toils of running a household remembering that our work reflects our acknowledgement of the talent worth God has given us in our spouses?

We cannot put aside helping our spouses seek holiness because we are too tired or too busy today.  We are aptly warned to “Stay awake and sober” by St. Paul because we simply do not know when it will be our or our spouse’s day of judgement.

“The sacrament of Matrimony signifies the union of Christ and the Church.  It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved his Church; the grace of the sacrament thus perfects the human love of the spouses, strengthens their indissoluble unity, and sanctifies them on the way to eternal life.” Catechism of the Catholic Church 1661

Disclaimer: This post was finished early and scheduled to automatically post on Sunday. The third commandment was not broken in the creation of this edition of Splendid Sundays =D.