In those few years that one gold coin, of twenty francs, had increased to ten thousand francs. And this illustrates the way in which Jesus the heavenly Master rewards those who use their talents for him. See how he teaches this lesson, when he says—“Whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.” St. Matt, x: 42. And in another place we are told that the reward shall be “an hundred fold,” and shall run on into “everlasting life.” St. Matt, xix: 29. How sweetly some one has thus written about
THE REWARD OF HEAVEN.
“Light after darkness,
gain after loss,
Strength after weariness, crown after cross;
Sweet after bitter, song after sigh,
Home after wandering, praise after cry;
Sheaves after sowing, sun after rain,
Light after mystery, peace after pain;
Joy after sorrow, calm after blast,
Rest after weariness, sweet rest at last;
Near after distant, gleam after gloom,
Love after loneliness, life after tomb.
After long agony, rapture of bliss,
Christ is the pathway leading to this!”
The last lesson from Olivet is the lesson about the rewards. And taking these lessons together, let us remember that they are—the lesson about the Master: the lesson about the servants: the lesson about the talents: and the lesson about the rewards.
The Collect for the thirteenth Sunday after Trinity is a very suitable prayer to offer after meditating on the lessons from Olivet:
“Almighty and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service: Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; which exceed all that we can desire; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN!”
We are approaching now the end of our Saviour’s life. The last week has come, and we are in the midst of it. This is called Passion week. We commonly use this word passion to denote anger. But the first and true meaning of the word, and of the Latin word from which it comes, is—suffering. And this is the sense in which we find the word used in Acts i: 3. There, St. Luke, who wrote the Acts, is speaking of Christ’s appearing to the apostles, after his resurrection, and he uses this language: “To whom he showed himself alive, after his passion;” or after his suffering and death.