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by José Antonio Pagola (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Buenas Noticias: Blog de Jose Antonio Pagola
November 16, 2014
Despite its seeming innocence, the parable of the talents carries an explosive charge. Surprisingly, the "third servant" is condemned without having done anything wrong. His only error was "doing nothing" -- not risking his talent, not making it bear fruit, keeping it intact in a safe place.
Jesus' message is clear. No to conservatism, yes to creativity. No to a sterile life, yes to the active response to God. No to obsession about security, yes to risky efforts to change the world. No to faith buried under conformity, yes to committed work to make way for the Kingdom of God.
The great sin of Jesus' followers could always be not daring to follow him creatively. It's important to observe the language that's been used among Christians over the centuries to see where we've often focused our attention: preserving the deposit of faith, preserving the tradition, preserving good customs, preserving grace, preserving vocations,...
This temptation to conservatism is stronger during times of religious crisis. It's easy then to invoke the need to control orthodoxy, reinforce discipline and rules, ensure membership in the Church,...All might be explicable, but isn't it often a way of distorting the gospel and freezing the creativity of the Holy Spirit?
For religious leaders and those responsible for Christian communities, it might be more comfortable to monotonously "repeat" the inherited ways of the past, ignoring the questions, contradictions, and approaches of modern people, but what use is all that if we aren't able to shed light and hope on the problems and suffering that trouble the men and women of our time?
The attitudes we should nurture today in the Church are not "prudence", "fidelity to the past", "resignation",...Instead, they have other names: "creative searching", "boldness", "ability to risk", "listening to the Spirit" that makes all things new.
The worst may be that, just as happened to the third servant in the parable, we believe we are responding faithfully to God with our conservative actions when we're disappointing His expectations. The primary task of the Church today can not be preserving the past, but learning to communicate the Good News of Jesus in a society racked by unprecedented sociocultural change.