On 10 February 2013, the 16th Sunday after Pentecost, the Gospel fragment on the “Multiplication of the bags of gold” was read in all churches. Thus, the Evangelical pericope of Matthew 25:14-30 presents us a man who was about to go on a journey, and called his servants and put them in charge of his property. He gave five bags of gold to one servant, two bags of gold to another one, according to their abilities, and went away. The one who received five bags of gold worked with them and won five other bags of gold. The second one has also won two other bags of gold. The one who received one bag took it and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them, rewarding those who multiplied the bags of gold and punishing the servant who buried the bag of gold.
In the sermon delivered in the chapel of the patriarchal residence with Saint Gregory the Enlightener as saint patron, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church emphasised the teaching of fragment.
The gifts are given by God to be an occasion of communion, cooperation, responsibility, and joy
His Beatitude emphasised in his sermon the fact that the gifts received from God are an occasion of communion and joy, so that we multiply them when we use them for the welfare of our fellow beings.
“This Gospel shows us that we must prepare in our lifetime to give a good answer at Christ’s judgement when He settles accounts with us for the gifts received from God. We multiply the gifts received from God through devotion and helping other people, because the gifts are given by God to be an occasion of communion, cooperation, common responsibility, and joy. We notice especially the fact that Jesus Christ, our Lord, emphasises the principle of proportionality when distributing the gifts or qualities according to the abilities of every man. This proportionality is seen in the fact that the one who received five bags of gold doubled them and made ten. The one who received two made four. We see that they multiplied the bags of gold in accordance with what they received, and on the other hand they receive the same reward: come on in and share my happiness. In other words, the proportionality in the multiplication of the bags of gold is completed with the recognition of the worthiness, diligence and generosity of those who multiplied the bags of gold”, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania said.
The multiplication of the bags of gold is a work by which God does not ask the man more than he can do
The multiplication of the bags of gold is a work according to the abilities of every man, while the reward for the devotion and diligence man proves when multiplying the gifts received is the full joy of the communion with God, as His Beatitude said.
“This multiplication of the bags of gold is a work by which God does not ask man more than he can give, or something beyond his abilities; if man multiplies the bags of gold with devotion and diligence, he receives the joy of the communion with God. Over few gifts you were faithful means that you multiplied the gifts in the life lived on the earth, and over many gifts I will put you in charge means that you will receive many gifts in the Kingdom of God because while living on the earth you multiplied the gifts received from God.”The wisdom of God which brings joy to the fruitful man is very clear, namely the one who made fruitful the gifts received made it through the cultivation of his qualities for the welfare of many”, the Patriarch of Romania said.
This is the most beautiful joy, namely the joy man receives from the joy of the one he helped
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has also shown that the joy received from the fellow being’s joy whom we helped is the most beautiful joy.
“The joy of the one who multiplied the bags of gold is the joy given to others, and this is the most beautiful joy, namely the joy man receives from the joy of the one whom he helped. We also see a joy of God and of the people when a teacher or professor forms good pupils or students who will be good professionals later on helping all society. This joy is extended beyond the death of the professor. Professor Teodor M Popescu said a significant truth: I will not die when I am laid in the grave, but when my last disciple does no long exist because the professor is continued through his disciples. This blessed joy of the multiplication of the bags of gold from generation to generation makes a civilisation, a dignified people, a people who multiplies the bags of gold of God, glorifies God and causes joy to the people”, His Beatitude said.
The joy to enjoy other people’s gifts is a holy joy
One of the many gifts that the people have is the gift to be able to enjoy other people’s gifts. In general, the selfish man envies those who have talents or many gifts. But the spiritualised man enjoys other people’s gifts because they are useful to the entire community, the Patriarch of Romania said pointing out that the joy to enjoy other people’s gifts is a holy joy.
“The good hearted people enjoy when they see there are many talents in a community, and lots of children in a community learn well at school, are obedient, or come to church; the more gifts are cultivated in a community the bigger the joy of the community is, no matter the community, and the gifts multiplied raise the dignity of a community through the talented people who cultivate their gifts with much effort and devotion. Thus, the joy to enjoy other people’s gifts is a holy joy, a joy that feels God present in the gifts somebody received to cultivate, also because he feels the presence of the grace in the diligent and generous people. Lazy bad people cause much sadness to a community, while the diligent generous people cause much joy”, His Beatitude said.
The Gospel of the 16th Sunday after the Pentecost urges the people to be generous, especially the rich ones, and calls all of them to multiply the bags of gold or one’s own qualities, to feel the joy that Christ, our Lord, gives to the diligent and generous ones.