St. Paul's prayer in this passage is familiar and intriguing. In it, he prays that we might have knowledge of God and our salvation; the hope to which we are called; the wealth of our inheritance; and the greatness of God's power. Wow! I forced myself to read through that list several times and not gloss over it because of its familiarity...each of these things is incredible!
Ambrosiaster ties the knowledge of God and salvation to worship, writing that, "When they truly know what the fruit of believing is, they will become more eager in acts of worship." Oh that we might better understand the all-encompassing and all-transforming reality of our salvation in Christ Jesus!
Regarding the hope to God's calling, St. Jerome reminds us that we must struggle and persevere to realize this hope through our daily repentance and trust (language that was picked up over a thousand years later by Martin Luther!). Jerome writes, "It is not without effort that we come to “know the hope of our calling and the riches of God’s inheritance in the saints.” This effort in fact comes in response to that renewing gift which God himself gives in the glorious resurrection of his own Son. This gift he gives not once but continually.… Every day Christ rises from the dead. Every day he is raised in the penitent."
The parable of the ten minas (similar to the parable of the talents [as a monetary unit] in Matthew) can, at first blush, be as puzzling as the parable of the dishonest manager back in chapter 16...but it need not be. The early church was nearly universal in understanding this as a parable of stewardship, specifically the stewardship of the unique talents (i.e. gifts, skills, etc.) God has equipped us with (cf. Paul's similar discussion 1 Cor 12.4-7). As St. Augustine points out, "The fault of that servant who was reproved and severely punished was this and only this: that he would not put to use what he had received." The question then comes to us, will we use our abilities to further the kingdom or will we squander or hide them?