And he called his ten servants, and delivered to them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.
Read Chapter 19
Cornelius a Lapide
And he called, &c. That you may increase my gain and your own. "Ten," that is all his servants, for he gave to each man a mna as appears from what follows. Christ would have us continually traffic with the "mnas," that is His talents, gifts, graces, which He has given us, that we may assiduously increase our gain of works and merits. He forbids us therefore to be idle; so that our whole life ought not to be one of ease, but of continual trading in spiritual gain, which, says S. Gregory to Dominicus (lib1Ep39), "we truly carry on, if by our lives and words we bring profit to the souls of our neighbours; if by preaching the joys of heaven we strengthen the feeble in the love of things heavenly; if we bow down the bold and haughty by inflexibly proclaiming the punishments of Gehenna: if we spare no man for Truth"s sake: if, given up to heavenly friendships, we fear no human enmity." He adds, "But I fear the burthen of my weakness for this work. I see Him when He has received His kingdom, ...
Ten pieces of money, each of which was called a mna. To translate pounds, gives the English reader a false notion, the Roman coin called a mna not corresponding to our pound. (Witham)
A mna was 12½ ounces, which, at five shillings per ounce, is £3 2s. 6d.