A very warm welcome to all to Hearers of the Word for Sunday, 15 November 2020.
1. Tarsus Scripture School
I would like to draw your attention to a new initiative called Tarsus Scripture School. Building on the good experience of the online Scripture Summer School, the three presenters (Jessie Rogers, Sean Goan and myself) have got together to create an online service. Our hope is to offer shorter and longer courses as appropriate throughout the year.
Our first programme for Advent 2020 is entitled Resilient faith: Advent spirituality for a time of pandemic. All the details of topics, resources, a webinar and registration may be found in one place: Tarsus Scripture School.
2. Sunday 33A20 (15 November 2020)
Full notes (PDF)
Gospel notes (audio)
Gospel notes (portable)
3. YouTube video
The YouTube video on Matthew 25:14-30 goes a little deeper into the nature of this parable and its place in Matthew’s overall scheme. The risk is to read the parable as a general moral about the use of our gifts…there is much more to it than that. .
4. A comment from Ulrich Luz (Hermeneia Commentary on Matthew) Luz is very aware of reading the parable as a general moral — a kind of down reading. The conclusion of his commentary on the parable offers these closing thoughts:
The exegesis and the history of interpretation here have demonstrated where the roots of such a misuse of the parable lie. The parable itself invites misunderstanding.
When Jesus, his whole message and his God, becomes the parable’s signature and the definition of its contents, such misuse cannot happen. Where this was not the case, the parable was misused.
The parable of the talents is theologically true only when it speaks of the God of Jesus Christ, who loves people in such a way that they are indebted to him for everything that they are and that they can achieve.
It is theologically true only when it speaks of his commission to love and of the gifts that are used for that purpose and not for just any human activities.
It is theologically true only when it is related to the community of love that Jesus wanted.
When it does not speak of these things, it is merely an empty shell of words with which every human activity can be legitimised.
5. Hearers of the Word (vol. 4) for Advent and Christmas 2020.
The next volume in the series by yours truly is now available for purchase here.
Wishing you all every blessing in the week to come,
Kieran O’Mahony OSA