Employing Your Talents

Matthew 25:14-30
1 Thes 4:9-12/Ps 98:1,7-9

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.
(Matthew 25:23)

The little one has will be taken,
But those who dare will be given more;
Be worthy of what God has given,
And see how He’ll multiply your store.

Jesus gave another parable about a man who went on a journey, and entrusted his property to three servants. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. The man who had received five talents at once invested it and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received one talent simply dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. When the master of those servants returned to settle accounts with them, both the man who had received the five talents and the one who received two talents showed their master that the money entrusted to them had doubled. Their master told them, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant(s)! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ But the man who had received only one talent came and said, ‘Master, I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Reflection

This parable of the talents in Matthew was the last parable Jesus taught before He proclaimed the last judgment, when He would sit on His throne to “separate the sheep from the goats” (Mt.25:32), and welcome His good and faithful servants into His kingdom. It is clear in this parable that only those who have proven themselves worthy by investing the talents God has given them profitably will be rewarded. But those who never took the initiative to seize the opportunity, even with what little was entrusted to them, will never earn a place in His kingdom.

The priest who celebrated the requiem mass for a departed friend gave a provocative homily about life and death. He said that from the very first book of the Bible (Genesis), we learn that God breathed life into a piece of earth, but that breath of life was only borrowed for a time, and would eventually return to its Maker. In the cosmic order of creation, human life is but a fleeting moment “that passes like the shadow of a cloud, and disappears like a mist in the heat of the sun.” (Wisdom 2:5) But it is what we do with our life that gives it value, and pleases its Maker that His creation had not been in vain. “Death,” the priest said, “is not the end of life, but is actually the beginning of the real life with God in heaven, if we have made our earthly existence meaningful and productive.”

The talents in the parable represent opportunities for us to give glory to God in this short life that we live. We cannot give justice to this gift of life if we are not willing to take a risk in helping the needy, or loving our enemies, or spreading the Good News of God’s Word to strangers. Opportunities to serve are only options to the faithless, but for us, the faithful, they are grave responsibilities. The one who received five talents proceeded at once to work on those investments. This supports the truism that “if you want to get the job done, give it to the busy man.” But the one who had the least ability or aptitude was given only one talent. And sure enough, in his complacency, lack of initiative, or plain laziness, he could not even put the money in the bank so that it could at least earn some interest. If we cannot even show interest to learn more about God’s kingdom, how can we expect to be welcomed into it?

Thank You, Father God, for the opportunities that you offer us to become fruitful members of Your Church. May we exploit them well to be worthy to share Your joy. Amen.

2 Responses to “Employing Your Talents”

  1. Mark Villanueva  on September 3rd, 2007

    I added you as a link in my site po.Please inform me if it is not ok.thanks. Added you because your site is really good.

  2. Momong  on September 3rd, 2007

    Thank you very much, Mark. We all need to be involved in spreading the Good News of salvation from the Lord. Please pray for me that I may be able to continue with this apostolate for as long as possible. God bless.