Bible Reflection Guide for Catholics


The twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mathew is divided into three parables. The first is the Parable of the 10 Virgins. The second is the Parable of the Talents. And the third is the Parable of the Last Judgment.


Evidently, this chapter reminds us of three things: first, that the Lord Jesus will come again at the end of time; second, that we shall give an accounting of our lives to the Lord when He comes again on the Last Day; and third, that the Lord will judge us according to our deeds.

But what seems to be striking about these three parables is that those who are condemned are not explicitly described as wicked, immoral, sinful people.

The five virgins in the first parable are simply foolish. The third servant in the second parable, who goes off after being entrusted with one talent by his master and digs a hole on the ground where he buried the talent, is simply lazy and afraid of his master. And in the Parable of the Last Judgment, it is very clear that the focus is not on the bad deeds committed but on the good deeds omitted.

We may ask of the second parable, “What immoral thing did the third servant do to deserve the punishment he got from his master? The answer is clear: nothing. No, burying his talent under the ground for safekeeping is not sinful. The problem is that he also did nothing good. For fear of his master, the servant failed to do the good he was supposed to do: invest the talent entrusted to him.

The message relative to the final judgment is clear:
we shall be judged not only on the merits of what we do but also on the basis of what we fail or refuse to do.

There are
two kinds of sin – the sin of commission, where we actually do something evil, and the other is the sin of omission, where we omit doing the good we’re supposed to do. Salvation is not merely a matter of avoiding evil; it is also very much a matter of doing good.

Let us avoid doing evil. But let us not forget doing good. If we fear committing sin, should we not also be equally, if not more, afraid of omitting good? –
Fr. Bobby Titco

REFLECTION QUESTION: We shall be judged not only on the merits of what we do but also on the basis of what we fail or refuse to do.

Lord, grant me the joy of doing the good that I am supposed to do. Instill upon me the horror of doing what I am not supposed to do. And show me the difference between the two. Amen.


Get more of these inspiring reflections, one for each day, in Sabbath, a powerful daily Bible Reflection Guide for Catholics. Go to: