Break the Paralysis of Fear

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.’ (Matthew 25:20-30)

It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. (John 15:16)

Quick! Ask yourself: “As I read parable in Matthew 25:14-30, do I identify more with the third servant in this parable than with the first two?” If you did, you’re not alone. How quick we are to fear that because we fall short of serving the Lord as we should, we may lose the little bit we think we have! We may even think that the outcome of this parable is unfair. Why should those who already have so much receive even more?

But this isn’t a parable about fairness. It’s about Jesus’ ability to empower us to serve him and bear fruit for the Gospel— fruit that surpasses what we would naturally expect and fruit that will last (John 15:16).

Think of the potential damage that just one person can do to the devil’s plans. Consider a father who teaches his children about the ways of the Lord. Think of how he models strength, patience, justice, and kindness to them. Think of the way he helps them to pray and teaches them to treat each other with love and consideration. Day after day, week after week, he is bringing about the kingdom of God in these children’s lives. And not just in their lives, but in the lives of their own future children. His influence, in fact, has the potential to reach generations!

Or consider the man, young or old, who witnesses to his faith in Jesus at school, or at work, or in a retirement group. Think of the number of persons he can stimulate to expect that God will work in their lives. Think about the ways these men or women, now on fire for the Lord, can influence others. And so on, and so on, and so on.

It’s true. God really can use you to extend his kingdom to others! Choose one situation this week where you can make a difference, one friend or acquaintance who you can bring one step closer to the Lord. Step out in faith, and see what kind of effect you can have. If you give the Lord an inch, he will take you a mile! Then one day you will hear the Lord say to you: “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” (Matthew 25:21).

“Lord Jesus, I desire to be a faithful servant in extending your kingdom. Holy Spirit, I give you permission to work more fully in my life. Come and fill me with your power and gifts, so that I might bear fruit for the kingdom of God. ”

Many thanks to The Word Among Us for allowing me to adapt meditations in their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.

Questions for Reflection/Discussion by Catholic Men

  1. Take some time to meditate and reflect on the Scriptures at the beginning of the article. What do you think God is trying to reveal to you through them?
  2. How would you answer this question posed at the beginning of the article: “As I read the parable in Matthew 25:14-30, do I identify more with the third servant in this parable than with the first two?”
  3. In the parable, the third servant who buried his master’s talent said he did it “out of fear.” What do you think he meant by this statement? Why do you think the servant was so harshly punished?
  4. The article states that Jesus desires “to empower us to serve him and bear fruit for the Gospel” so that we can do damage to the devil’s plans. What areas of your life need greater empowering by the Lord, so you can serve him better and bear more fruit?
  5. If you have children, how do you compare to the father described in the article? What steps can you take to be more like him?
  6. The article speaks of the man “who witnesses to his faith in Jesus at school, or at work, or in a retirement group.” In what ways do you witness to your faith in Jesus to other men? Where is there room for improvement?
  7. The article goes on to say that “God really can use you to extend his kingdom!” What steps can you take in the upcoming weeks to “extend his kingdom”?
  8. How important is it to hear the following words from the Gospel parable when you meet the Lord in Heaven?  “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” (Matthew 25:21). What do you believe are the “small matters” in your life that require more faithfulness?
  9. Take some time now to pray for a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit and all the grace you need to bear fruit for the Kingdom of God. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point.

Maurice Blumberg is the Director of Partner Relations for The Word Among Us Partners, a ministry of The Word Among Us to the military, prisoners, and women with crisis pregnancies or who have had abortions. Maurice was also the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men, for which he is currently a Trustee. He can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected].

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Maurice Blumberg is the Director of Partner Relations for The Word Among Us Partners, (http://www.waupartners.org/), a ministry of The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) to the Military, Prisoners, and women with crisis pregnancies or who have had abortions. Maurice was also the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), for which he is currently a Trustee. He can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]

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