33rd Sunday A - Talents - Liturgy

 Sunday November 15 


1. Much Is Entrusted to Us

2. Take the Risks of Faith 

 Greeting (See Second Reading) 

We do not belong to the night or to darkness, so we should not go on sleeping but stay wide awake and sober. May the Lord Jesus be your light and stay with you. R/ And also with you. 


1. Much Is Entrusted to Us

The Lord God trusts us more than we perhaps trust ourselves. He entrusts to us a lot of potentials not only to become the persons and Christians he has called us to be, but also to build up the Church and God’s Kingdom. What a trust! He puts himself and the Church and the Kingdom into our hands! That trust is our responsibility. In this Eucharist we ask the Lord Jesus to make us respond fully to God’s deep trust in us.  

2. Take the Risks of Faith It is disheartening to see at times how people with a lot of potentials simply refuse to use their gifts. Are they afraid of committing themselves, of taking risks with people? Perhaps we too are scared to take the risk of putting ourselves into the hands of people. We keep our faith for Sundays but fail to invest it in the goodness of people, in forgiveness when we have been wronged, in speaking out for those who have no voice, in affection that may not be answered. Let us risk ourselves with the Lord here among us.  

Penitential Act 

We have used God’s gifts too easily as if they had been given us for ourselves alone, so we did not serve God and the Church. We ask the Lord to forgive us. (pause) Lord Jesus, when you came among us you wanted to set us free from all fear: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. Jesus Christ, you have entrusted to us the future of the Church and of your kingdom: Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy. Lord Jesus, you have made us free and responsible in the service of God and the world: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. Have mercy on us, Lord, forgive us for misusing your gifts. Make us servants with you and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.  

Opening Prayer

 Let us pray that we may respond to God’s trust in us (pause) God, our kind and loving Father, you no longer call us servants but friends. There is so much you have entrusted to us, even the future of your kingdom of justice and love. Give us the grace to work out with you the growth of mercy and goodness in this world, to be united with all Christians and with all who seek you with a sincere heart in bringing reconciliation and joy to everyone. Let us go together the way to you, our living and loving God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen. 

 First Reading:

The Good Housekeeper Uses All Her Talents 

Here is a picture of an exemplary mother and wife. She uses all her talents of mind and heart and faith in the service of her family and also of the poor. 

 Second Reading: Keep Awake for the Lord’s Coming 

As “children of the light and the day,” we should be ready any time for the Lord’s coming, even though we do not know when he will come.   

Gospel: What Have You Done with Your Talents?  God has given us rich gifts of faith. What have we done with them? With whom of the servants in the Gospel do we identify? 


No Risk, No Gain! Barnabas was a juggler in a circus before he became a monk. He felt called to enter an ancient monastery to give himself more fully to the Lord. At first he was very happy in the monastery, but after some time he became depressed. He saw that Brother Mark was a great painter and spend his time glorifying God painting icons. Brother Gall used his chisel to make beautiful statues, and Brother John used his pen to copy the sacred scriptures and so glorify the Lord. Poor Barnabas felt that he had nothing to offer and so he told the Abbot that he planned to leave the monastery. Soon after this the Abbot noticed two things. He noticed that Barnabas was standing straight and looking cheerful again and also that each day, after lunch when the other monks went for siesta, he would go to the chapel on his own. One day the Abbot slipped out from lunch early and hid in the chapel. Barnabas came in and took four candle sticks from the altar. He then went in front of the statue of Our Lady and, standing on his head, did a most wonderful juggling act with the candle sticks. The Abbot from his hiding place was angry at this unbecoming behavior in the chapel and was just about to come out to reprimand Barnabas when the statue of Our Lady came alive and Mary stepped down and wiped the juggler's brow with her veil! Barnabas had offered the only talent he had and was richly rewarded. Today's gospel parable is about using the talents that have been given to us. An enterprising employer, who hopes that his own flair and daring in business will be reflected by his servants, entrusts his property to them while he goes abroad. He gives them no instructions but just watches for their initiative. As in all stories and jokes with three characters, our attention if focused on number three; the third servant is the one who refuses to involve himself in the spirit of the enterprise. He buries what was given to him because he knows his master is strict. (In one village sharing a farmer said that the third servant was the smartest one. Why should he work hard and make money only for his master!) In the original situation Jesus is making a point against the Scribes and Pharisees. Their chief aim is to keep the law, which they had been given, exactly as it was - not to change it, develop it or alter it in any way. They said their mission was to "build a fence around the law." But in this parable Jesus tells us that there can be no religion with risk, adventure and enterprise. Willingness to dare is an essential part of our faith. Where there is no risk there is no gain in spiritual as well as in material matters. The first two servants risked and gained. The third brought back the master's money unused and defended himself by focusing on the reputed meanness of the master, not on his own lack of courage as the reason for this failure. So often we too take the problem away from where it is - with ourselves - and place it where it is not - with someone outside. When we do this, we make it impossible to solve our problem; we put ourselves beyond redemption! I knew one man who complained how hard life had been on him. His classmates were all in managerial positions. They, however, said that while they had worked their way up, he wanted to be at the top from the start and blamed others for this failure. Many people think that prayer is something difficult and complicated. They say it is too difficult and that they have no time. Particularly, if they are asked to meditate - to be still before God without using words or images - they feel that they are not praying. They often, because of insecurity, pad their meditation around with other kinds of prayer. But God asks us to do the little we can, to take a risk - like the monk Barnabas - and he will be quite satisfied. Pure prayer is just to be present in total poverty accepting and offering back the gifts, great or small, that God may have given to us. All we need do is to try to say our prayer word. When we become aware of anything else we show our fidelity by coming back to the little word, the little task. When we do this, virgins in statues may not become alive but we will have done our little best and that is all that the Lord ever expects of us. As the great poet of religious experience, T.S. Elliot put it, "For us there is only the trying. 


What we are and have belongs to God. Let us pray that we may place everything in the service of the Church and of people, and let us say: R/ Lord, let all our actions praise you. 

– That the Church may not be afraid to risk accepting the pains of renewal in Christ and bringing to all of humanity its message of hope and life, let us pray: R/ Lord, let all our actions praise you.

– That all people may share in the earth’s resources in justice, friendship and peace; that the mighty of this earth may cooperate toward the human and economic development of all nations and all social classes, let us pray: R/ Lord, let all our actions praise you.

– That women may take with honor their rightful place in the Church and in the world; that their cordiality, tact and sensitivity may warm this hard world with gentleness, let us pray: R/ Lord, let all our actions praise you.

– That inspiring homes and a good education may equip our young people to place their potentials in the service of the Church and of our people, let us pray: R/ Lord, let all our actions praise you.

– For all of us here, that we may be responsible under God for our own lives and each other’s happiness; that we may progress in service and unity and enrich one another in love, let us pray: R/ Lord, let all our actions praise you.

Lord our God, you have generously given us our talents. Do not allow us to be misers but help us to give the best of ourselves, through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen. 

 Prayer over the Gifts 

Lord our God, we place ourselves and all you have made us in these gifts of bread and wine, that you may return them to us as the body and blood of your Son. Accept us with Jesus Christ and convince us that with him we have to share ourselves with one another in our poverty and our riches. May we thus build up one another and give shape to your kingdom. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.

 Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer 

Let us with joy give thanks to the Father for all the gifts he has poured out on us in his Son Jesus Christ, and let us offer them with Jesus for the good of all in the Kingdom. 

 Introduction to the Lord’s Prayer 

As children of light and of the day we pray to God our Father the prayer of Jesus. R/ Our Father... 

 Deliver Us 

Deliver us Lord, from our passivity and from our paralyzing fear to commit ourselves to our people. May we never stand still to preserve what we have but always continue to grow in love and to develop your gifts in us, that we may give a good account to him who is to come, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom... 

 Invitation to Communion 

This is Jesus, the Lamb of God. He gave all he had, his life and death, that others might live and become capable of giving themselves. Happy are we to receive him and to expect his return without fear. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

 Prayer after Communion 

Lord our God, source of all that is good, through the gift of your Son Jesus Christ you have made us capable of sowing the seeds of your life and love. When you ask for an account of what we have done with our lives, may we hear from your own lips that we have been good and faithful servants who did much with the little we had, and that we may enter your lasting joy. Grant us this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen. 


Our life with all that we are and have is not ours to possess, for it is a trust from God. It is a loan from him, not to kept safely in a “hole in the ground” but to work with as best as we can, each according to his ability. May almighty God give you the courage to serve him and people with all that is in you, and may he bless you: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen. Let us go in the peace of Christ and be his good and faithful servants. R/ Thanks be to God.