TWENTY-THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST – Holy Gospel: Matthew 25:14-30

“It will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property.  To one he gave 5 talents, to another 2, to another 1, to each according to his ability.  Then he went away.  He who had received 5 talents went at once and traded with them, and he made 5 talents more.  So also he who had the 2 talents made 2 talents more.  But he who had received the 1 talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.  Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.  And he who had received the 5 talents came forward, bringing 5 talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me 5 talents; here I have made 5 talents more.’  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master.’  And he also who had the 2 talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me 2 talents; here I have made 2 talents more.’  His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.  You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much.  Enter into the joy of your master.’  He also who had received the 1 talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.  Here you have what is yours.’  But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant!  You knew that I reap where I have not sowed and gather where I scattered no seed?  Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest.  So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the 10 talents.  For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance.  But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness.  In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’”