Gospel Thought for Today
17th November: Feast of St Hugh of Lincoln, Patron of Nottingham Diocese
Gospel: Luke 19:11-28
While people were listening to Jesus speak,
he proceeded to tell a parable because he was near Jerusalem
and they thought that the Kingdom of God
would appear there immediately.
So he said,
“A nobleman went off to a distant country
to obtain the kingship for himself and then to return.
He called ten of his servants and gave them ten gold coins
and told them, ‘Engage in trade with these until I return.’
His fellow citizens, however, despised him
and sent a delegation after him to announce,
‘We do not want this man to be our king.’
But when he returned after obtaining the kingship,
he had the servants called, to whom he had given the money,
to learn what they had gained by trading.
The first came forward and said,
‘Sir, your gold coin has earned ten additional ones.’
He replied, ‘Well done, good servant!
You have been faithful in this very small matter;
take charge of ten cities.’
Then the second came and reported,
‘Your gold coin, sir, has earned five more.’
And to this servant too he said,
‘You, take charge of five cities.’
Then the other servant came and said,
‘Sir, here is your gold coin;
I kept it stored away in a handkerchief,
for I was afraid of you, because you are a demanding man;
you take up what you did not lay down
and you harvest what you did not plant.’
He said to him,
‘With your own words I shall condemn you,
you wicked servant.
You knew I was a demanding man,
taking up what I did not lay down
and harvesting what I did not plant;
why did you not put my money in a bank?
Then on my return I would have collected it with interest.’
And to those standing by he said,
‘Take the gold coin from him
and give it to the servant who has ten.’
But they said to him,
‘Sir, he has ten gold coins.’
He replied, ‘I tell you,
to everyone who has, more will be given,
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
Now as for those enemies of mine who did not want me as their king,
bring them here and slay them before me.’”
After he had said this,
he proceeded on his journey up to Jerusalem.
The Gospel of the Lord.
To everyone who has, more will be given…
St Hugh was a Carthusian monk from France. During his stint at the Grande Chartreuse, he served as its procurator. He later became prior of the first Carthusian House in England which was founded by King Henry II. One of his achievements as prior was the building of the Charterhouse. When he was elected Bishop of Lincoln, he was known to be engaged with the poor through charitable works. He tended the lepers with his own hands. Described as a model bishop, he rarely left his diocese except when on a retreat. He personally got acquainted with the priests in the diocese, held regular canonical visitations, and carefully chose men for the priesthood. He was also known to have rebuked King Richard I for his infidelity to his wife and encroachment of Church rights. The King once said of Hugh, “Truly if all the prelates of the Church were like him, there is not a king in Christendom who would dare to raise his head in the presence of a bishop.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus warns us to use the gifts God has entrusted to us. Otherwise, we will lose it. St Hugh faithfully used his God-given gifts well: as a monk, a bishop, and a person. Through the many facets of his life, more gifts were given him which he utilized for God’s glory and the good of souls. We are challenged to do the same.
- How does your God-given gifts make a difference in your life and in the life of others?
- How often has God entrusted you with more gifts?
- How did you use the extra gifts He has given you?
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your Word today. Through the prayers and example of St Hugh of Lincoln, help us to use well the gifts that You have entrusted to us that our Diocese may faithfully and creatively respond to the signs of the times. Amen.