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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings

The King Returns

Submitted by on Wednesday, 17 November 2010No Comment
TheKingReturns
  • Reading I:  Revelation 4:1-11
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 150:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6
  • Gospel Reading: Luke 19:11-28

The parable in Luke 19:11-27 can be outlined as follows:

  1. The occassion of the parable (11)
  2. The parable itself
    1. A nobleman prepares to go to another country to obtain kingship (12)
      • The task he leaves to his servants (13)
      • The reaction of his fellow citizens (14)
    2. The nobleman, now king, returns
      • The accounting of the servants (15-26)
      • What he does to those who reject him as king (27)

The parable has two stories that are interwoven. The first thread is about the money that the nobleman entrusts to his servants. The second thread is about the fellow citizens’ reaction to the nobleman’s appointment as king.

The first story is similar to the one found in Matthew 25:14-20, the so-called "Parable of the Talents". In Luke, stress is on the reward of the servants who give increase to the owner’s investment, on the one hand, and punishment for the one who does not. In the lesson about the reward, a statement earlier pronounced by Jesus is also explained:

The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones; (16:10)

The second story is about the rejection of a king. The story may reflect current procedures in the Roman Emperor’s appointment of puppet kings. A nobleman is called to the Emperor ("he goes to the distant country") and returns with the power and authority of a king. In the case of the parable in Luke, the first act of the returning king is to have the possible rebels executed before him.

Jesus told the parable because people were thinking that the kingdom of God was about appear. In the context of the story of Zacchaeus’ conversion, the expectation must have arisen because one who was thought to be outside salvation has now received salvation into his home (19:9). It may also be that the expectation arose because Jesus was about to enter Jerusalem to claim it as the heir to David’s throne. The function of the parable is then to show that (a) the kingdom of God is not coming right there and then, (b) that someone will still have to receive his kingship (c) that there will be a parousia — the arrival of the king — when judgment will be given.

The parable then is eschatological in character, i.e. it refers to the last Day, or better yet, to the "Day of the Lord". The theme of "faithful and unfaithful servants" already discussed previously (cf. 12:35-40.42-48; 17:7-10) are highlighted anew. The theme of punishment for those who reject the reign of God through Jesus — to be taken up in a different way in the parable of the vineyard workers (cf. 20:9-18) — is given as a warning to those who would reject Jesus.

Guide for Actualization

1. Review the parables of the "faithful and unfaithful servants" in the gospel of Luke (see the texts cited above). How do you see yourself as a servant of Jesus? What task has been entrusted to you in relation to His household, the Church?

2. The Lord is coming. How do you prepare for His arrival?

Link to the second reading “The True Center of Power”

Revelation 4:1-11
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
1After these things I looked, and behold a door was opened in heaven, and the first voice which I heard, as it were, of a trumpet speaking with me, said: Come up hither, and I will shew thee the things which must be done hereafter.
2And immediately I was in the spirit: and behold there was a throne set in heaven, and upon the throne one sitting.
3And he that sat, was to the sight like the jasper and the sardine stone; and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald.
4And round about the throne were four and twenty seats; and upon the seats, four and twenty ancients sitting, clothed in white garments, and on their heads were crowns of gold.
5And from the throne proceeded lightnings, and voices, and thunders; and there were seven lamps burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God.
6And in the sight of the throne was, as it were, a sea of glass like to crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind.
7And the first living creature was like a lion: and the second living creature like a calf: and the third living creature, having the face, as it were, of a man: and the fourth living creature was like an eagle flying.
8And the four living creatures had each of them six wings; and round about and within they are full of eyes. And they rested not day and night, saying: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was, and who is, and who is to come.
9And when those living creatures gave glory, and honour, and benediction to him that sitteth on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever;
10The four and twenty ancients fell down before him that sitteth on the throne, and adored him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
11Thou art worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory, and honour, and power: because thou hast created all things; and for thy will they were, and have been created.
Psalm 150:1
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1Praise ye the Lord in his holy places: praise ye him in the firmament of his power.
Luke 19:11-28
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11As they were hearing these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately be manifested.
12He said therefore: A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them: Trade till I come.
14But his citizens hated him: and they sent an embassage after him, saying: We will not have this man to reign over us.
15And it came to pass, that he returned, having received the kingdom: and he commanded his servants to be called, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16And the first came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17And he said to him: Well done, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a little, thou shalt have power over ten cities.
18And the second came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19And he said to him: Be thou also over five cities.
20And another came, saying: Lord, behold here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin;
21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up what thou didst not lay down, and thou reapest that which thou didst not sow.
22He saith to him: Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up what I laid not down, and reaping that which I did not sow:
23And why then didst thou not give my money into the bank, that at my coming, I might have exacted it with usury?
24And he said to them that stood by: Take the pound away from him, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25And they said to him: Lord, he hath ten pounds.
26But I say to you, that to every one that hath shall be given, and he shall abound: and from him that hath not, even that which he hath, shall be taken from him.
27But as for those my enemies, who would not have me reign over them, bring them hither, and kill them before me.
28And having said these things, he went before, going up to Jerusalem.
Luke 19:11-27
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
11As they were hearing these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately be manifested.
12He said therefore: A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.
13And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds, and said to them: Trade till I come.
14But his citizens hated him: and they sent an embassage after him, saying: We will not have this man to reign over us.
15And it came to pass, that he returned, having received the kingdom: and he commanded his servants to be called, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
16And the first came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.
17And he said to him: Well done, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a little, thou shalt have power over ten cities.
18And the second came, saying: Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.
19And he said to him: Be thou also over five cities.
20And another came, saying: Lord, behold here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin;
21For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up what thou didst not lay down, and thou reapest that which thou didst not sow.
22He saith to him: Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up what I laid not down, and reaping that which I did not sow:
23And why then didst thou not give my money into the bank, that at my coming, I might have exacted it with usury?
24And he said to them that stood by: Take the pound away from him, and give it to him that hath ten pounds.
25And they said to him: Lord, he hath ten pounds.
26But I say to you, that to every one that hath shall be given, and he shall abound: and from him that hath not, even that which he hath, shall be taken from him.
27But as for those my enemies, who would not have me reign over them, bring them hither, and kill them before me.
Matthew 25:14-20
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
14For even as a man going into a far country, called his servants, and delivered to them his goods;
15And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey.
16And he that had received the five talents, went his way, and traded with the same, and gained other five.
17And in like manner he that had received the two, gained other two.
18But he that had received the one, going his way digged into the earth, and hid his lord's money.
19But after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reckoned with them.
20And he that had received the five talents coming, brought other five talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained other five over and above.

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