A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 25:14-30
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
14 “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
15 To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one – to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
16 Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five.
17 Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
18 But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.
19 After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
20 The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’
21 His master said to him, ‘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.’
22 Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’
23 His master said to him, ‘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.’
24 Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter;
25 so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’
26 His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter?
27 Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
28 Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
29 For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
30 And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”
Good News: The good and faithful servant will be given more responsibilities and He will share in his master’s joy.
The Parable of the Talents tells the story of a man who had entrusted talents of varying amount to his servants. He went away and upon his return, he praised and rewarded the servant who gained profit but punished the servant who did not earn any profit because he did not invest properly the talent given to him. There are several important lessons that we can learn from this parable.
First, each one of us is given a particular “talent”. We can understand this talent literally. That includes our inborn talents as well as learned skills. We can also understand talent to include our treasures, monetary or otherwise. However we understand it, it is clear in our reading that each one of us is given a talent – something that we can use for our own development as human and spiritual being, for the good of others and for the glory of God. Therefore, no one is useless. Everyone has something to offer, something to contribute for the good of society.
Second, each one is responsible in using and developing this talent whatever it is. Some are given more and others less but the amount does not matter. Therefore, let us not be jealous of those who are more talented, more skilled, or more fortunate than us. There is absolutely no need to compare ourselves with others.
Third, there will be a time when we are called to give a report on how we used or abused our talent. It means there is a consequence for our actions. God will look favorably on those who work hard to improve their lot in life and those who share their gifts to others. On the other hand, those who neglect or abuse their talent will reap the whirlwind.
Practical Application of the Parable of the Talents
1. When we appreciate and share our small blessings, they tend to magnify or increase.
2. When we invest properly our hard-earned savings, we gain profit. If we re-invest our profit, it will multiply.
3. When we neglect to use our talent or skill, it will be forgotten or lost.
4. When we hide our money instead of investing it, there will be no gain. In fact, its value will decrease due to inflation.
5. In the work place, when the boss sees our accomplishment, we will be given recognition, promotion and more responsibilities. On the other hand, when we neglect our duties, we will be sacked or demoted.