Summary: Let us take a risk without fear and God blesses us in our risks.

Take Risk Without Fear

Matthew 25:14-30


Dear sisters and brothers,

Today we have the text from the Gospel of Matthew (Matthew 25:14-30) for our reflection.

Jesus told his disciples this parable:

“A man going on a journey

called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.

To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one--

to each according to his ability.

Then he went away.

Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,

and made another five.

Likewise, the one who received two made another two.

But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground

and buried his master's money.

“After a long time

the master of those servants came back

and settled accounts with them.

The one who had received five talents came forward

bringing the additional five.

He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.

See, I have made five more.’

His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.

Since you were faithful in small matters,

I will give you great responsibilities.

Come, share your master’s joy.’

Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,

‘Master, you gave me two talents.

See, I have made two more.’

His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.

Since you were faithful in small matters,

I will give you great responsibilities.

Come, share your master’s joy.’

Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,

‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person,

harvesting where you did not plant

and gathering where you did not scatter;

so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.

Here it is back.’

His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!

So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant

and gather where I did not scatter?

Should you not then have put my money in the bank

so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?

Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.

For to everyone who has,

more will be given and he will grow rich;

but from the one who has not,

even what he has will be taken away.

And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,

where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”

The parable of the talents is told to the disciples of Jesus Christ.

The parable is for all who believe in Jesus Christ as their Saviour.

The parable is for all who continue to do without any rewards.

The parable is for all who have faith in their responsibilities.

The parable is for all who commit to their duties.

The parable is for all who do not surrender to their weaknesses.

The parable is for all who do not submit to their fears.

The parable is for all who have impossibles to achieve their goals.

The parable is for all who have innumerable possibilities to reach their life purposes.

The parable is for all who have the feeling of urgency in their lives.

The parable is for all who dream something big.

The parable is for all who make things happen in this world positively.

The parable is for all who drive something to do good before it is too late.

The parable is for all who say something powerful to change the world.

The parable is for all who longs for the Kingdom of God.

The parable is for all who have the enthusiasm to preach Christ Jesus to an unfriendly world.

The parable is for all who have the courage to liberate the people who are poor, imprisoned (Luke 4:16-20).

We can have many reflections from the parable of the talents as I have mentioned above.

In spite of all these possibilities, I focus on only one important lesson to lead our faith life in Jesus Christ from the parable of the talents for the disciples of Jesus Christ (including me) in this post-truth world.

The lesson is: ‘Take Risk Without Fear’.

For this, I would like to narrate a recent story of a fearless disciple, who is a warrior for Jharkhand's (one of the Indian states) adivasis (tribals), Father Stan Swamy, a Jesuit, arrested for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, is remembered by peers as someone who worked to uplift the marginalised despite his struggle with Parkinson's disease.

For Father Stanislaus Lourduswamy, true religion is standing for justice, humanity and truth.

His ideas made many within the Church uncomfortable.

To them, he was a radical of sorts.

But, this was his life's mission, and many activists, including myself, were inspired by his journey," says Tony PM, a freelance researcher and social activist in Ranchi, who has been associated with the 83-year-old Jesuit priest since 1993.

On October 8, Fr Lourduswamy, known among peers as Fr Stan Swamy, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in the Elgar Parishad case.

He is being investigated for his alleged links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and instigating caste violence in Bhima Koregaon in Pune district, making him the 16th person to be arrested in the case since June 2018, and also the oldest person to be accused of terrorism in India.

Ailing and frail, Fr Stan, say observers, dedicated his life to uplift the marginalised and Adivasis of Jharkhand.

When he was dragged into the controversy, it befuddled many.

After the NIA court rejected his interim bail plea last week, activists, including members of the Adivasi Adhikar Manch, took to the streets to protest his incarceration.

Earlier this week, the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences (FABC) called for his release. Closer home, Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay had urged prayers for the priest.

Born on April 26, 1937, in a village in Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirappalli, Fr Stan took a shine to social service early.

Inspired, by the work of the Jesuit priests, whom he came in contact with during his time at St Joseph's School, he decided to join the order in undivided Bihar.

From then on, the north Indian state became his adopted home.

After a stint as teacher at the St Xavier's High School Lupungutu, Chaibasa, in the 1960s, he went to Manila in the Philippines in 1967 to study theology.

He returned to the Jesuit Jamshedpur Province in 1971, where he was made the Director of the Catholic Relief Service.

This is also when his activism took root.

He spent time with the Ho tribe, learning their language, and moved to Badaibir village, where he worked with the youth.

"But, he realised that if he continued to work in the village, he'd be tied down to a small area. He wanted to bring the fruits of his work to a maximum number of people," Tony shares, in a telephonic interview.

A long stint at the Indian Social Institute, Bangalore, from 1975 to 1990, kept him away from home for a while.

This is where Mumbai-based Fr. Frazer Mascarenhas first became aware of Fr Stan's advocacy.

Fr. Mascarenhas who is the Manager of St Stanislaus High School and former principal of St Xavier's College, Mumbai, has been most vocal in his support for the Jharkhand priest.

"Fr Swamy was the director of the institute for about 12 years. He used to organise courses for all of us on social analysis. I remember attending one of these. He was quite passionate about the poor, the Dalits and Adivasis, and wanted to understand what is leading to their impoverishment and continuing powerlessness, despite years of freedom and a Constitution, which gives everyone the right to aspire for the fruits of development. He was one of those, who gave us a very good perspective and analytical view of the Indian society," recalls Fr Mascarenhas.

When he completed his term as director, he once again returned home, to work at the grassroots.

"He knew that if change had to be made, it would have to be done at a policy level.

That's why he shifted to Ranchi," says Tony, who joined him a few years later.

"When I met Fr Stan, he was already living with Parkinson's disease. But that didn't come in the way of his work. He would ride the motorbike from Ranchi to Chaibasa, 139 km away, three to four times a week, so that he could build a strong network of activists," says Tony.

Fr Stan's main mission was to make the Adivasis aware of their land rights.

He was a critic of the government's attempts to amend land laws—the Land Acquisition Act in Jharkhand, being among them—and a strong advocate of the Chota Nagpur Tenancy Act, the Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act, and Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, instituted to protect Adivasi land.

"PESA gave power to the gram sabhas to control resources and acquisition of land for the Adivasis. Otherwise, the community would be assimilated into the big ocean called the mainstream. Unfortunately, these resources were being diverted elsewhere," says Tony.

He highlights his focus on the cause as his most remarkable quality. "He had his ear to the ground. Every time there was a new policy that he felt would affect the Adivasis, he'd read about it, and write articles. He'd then distribute his pieces among his network of activists to spread awareness."

Siraj Dutta, a member of the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, says the priest was a sympathiser of all civil and social movements.

"I have known him for seven years, and his life revolved around empowering the gram sabhas. But, in the past few years, he also raised issues about hunger deaths and mob-lynching."

Another important cause that he got involved in a few years ago, was finding the true story behind Adivasi prisoners, many of whom were accused of joining the Naxals. "We filed many RTIs and managed to get data from jails on the number of Adivasis arrested. Fr Stan and I also visited those who had been released on bail. Of the 102 people we met, only three said they had something to do with the Maoists. Based on this research, we even published a report," says Tony.

There were many naysayers within the Church and outside, but he insulated himself from the noise.

"We were aware of his activism even here [in Mumbai]," says Fr Mascarenhas, who says Fr Stan's involvement in the Elgar Parishad is far-fetched.

"Anyone who knows him will say that this [allegation] is not true. Most importantly, it goes against our [Jesuit: The Society of Jesus] very ethos. At the moment, he is very ill. Because of Parkinson's, he's unable even to lift a glass of water. He has hearing loss in both ears, and recently underwent surgery. In this condition, how did the government think it wise to arrest him?" he asks.

Dutta says that ever since his house was raided two years ago, Fr Stan had cooperated with the agencies.

"He has repeatedly clarified that he has not been to Bhima-Koregaon, but he was arrested under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The manner in which it was all panned out was ruthless."

Fr Mascarenhas describes him as a torchbearer of the Constitution. "If Fr Stan has to be arrested, all of us should also be arrested. We are all sympathisers." (Source:

There are many disciples of Jesus Christ who work tirelessly risking their lives without fear of death to establish the Kingdom of God on this earth.

Some are martyred. It is said that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.

The Church of Christ Jesus never ever can stop preaching the Gospel when the Disciples of Christ Jesus lives their good news.

Where there is humanity, there is the Church.

Where there are human rights, there is the Church.

The Church is not just a stone building but a soulful heart.

The Church cries with people when people cry.

The Church smiles with people when people smile.

The Church always stands with the poor, the needy, the marginalised, the downtrodden...

To stand with these people we, the disciples of Jesus Christ, need to take risk without fear.

There are so many examples we find when we read the scripture.

Abraham took a risk leaving his own relatives and own land.

Joseph took a risk standing for the truth.

Moses took a risk to liberate the people.

David took a risk even though he was short in stature.

Prophets took risks to speak the truth.

Joseph took a risk by taking Mary as his wife.

Mary took a risk taking child Jesus to Egypt.

The Apostles took a risk preaching the Gospel.

There are innumerable people who took risks and gave up their lives for the Kingdom values.

Mother Teresa took a risk to come out from her comfortable life to be with the suffering humanity on the roads.

We are called to take risk without fear to venture into the pandemic world to bring suffering humanity back to God with our limited resources.

We may not have all resources.

We may not have all talents.

We may not have all people with us.

But a smile can bring smile to the other.

A hand can reach out to wipe tears of the other.

A shoulder can give a space for someone to lean on you.

An encouraging message can motivate someone.

An ear can listen to someone who wants to share their suffering.

Whatever we do we do as the disciples of Jesus Christ.

It does not mean that our path will be very smooth without fear, without pain, without suffering.

Despite of all our fear, difficulty, pain and suffering, the risk that we take for the value of the Kingdom will promise us that God is with us in our trials to bring abundant life for us and for everyone.

It becomes an inspiration to bring more people to Christ Jesus in our lives.

Let us take a risk without fear and God blesses us in our risks.

May the Heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all. Amen...