Memorial of Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr
The parable of ‘the ten pounds’ is similar to the parable of the Talents in Mt. 25:14-30. The parable can be understood in multiple layers significance.
- Historically: The parable recalls how the Herodian rules of Palestine often traveled to Rome to request for ruling authority from Romans. It is mentioned in the history that Archelaus in particular went before Caesar Augustus as mentioned in 19:14 and the Jewish delegates journeyed to Rome to oppose the request.
- Morally: Jesus stresses the need for diligence and responsibility, the parable is placed at the end of the long journey that Jesus has taken to Jerusalem (journey began in 9:51). He wants to communicate to his disciples that he expects them to fulfill their Christian duties in his absence (being aware of what will happen to him in Jerusalem 23:44) and fear will not be an excuse for laziness or lack of productivity. (19:20-24)
- Theologically: The parable envisions the ascending of Jesus into heaven to receive his kingdom and his glorious return to judge those who reject his royal authority (19:27).
The parable calls for personal diligence from the part of the disciple to respond to the challenges that are placed before him. However, the God given abilities are squandered because of fear often. The greatest strength of the disciple is the trust he/she has in the master. Jesus, the master demands the same from each one us.