“‘Out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant!'”

Today we close our run of Matthew with the lengthy Parable of the Talents (Mt 25:14-30).  A master summons his servants to take care of his possessions for him while he is away.  One he gives five talents, another two, another one.  The first two use wisely that which was entrusted to them and doubled the amount.  The last one simply buries his talent.  When the master returns he praises the first two and promises them even more responsibilities.  Without prompting, the servant given the least amount, tells the master that he buried the talent out of fear of his demanding master.  The master’s reply (above) precedes his taking away of the talent from this man who he then dismisses and has physically thrown off the property.  Like the gospel readings of recent days, this one too is about preparation.  But in this case, it is not about being surprised about the Master’s return — these men knew he would be coming back to settle accounts — but rather it is about what we do with what the Lord has entrusted to us in this life.  We have all been given gifts and talents by God — some more, some less.  In every case, though, we are called to use these presents to advance the Kingdom.  As we saw with the lazy servant, not using them means losing them and falling behind — actually hindering the Kingdom.  Either we advance or fall behind — their is no such thing as simply staying in place.  We must consider carefully how we can use our freely given gifts to advance the Kingdom.  We may have great skills of oratory, teaching, memorization, or music with which we can affect multitudes.  We must be sure to offer them and use them.  But if we don’t have such talents, we are still called to give what we have.  A green thumb?  Volunteer on the parish grounds or with neighbors who can’t do these things anymore.  Enjoy conversation?  Visit hospitals, nursing homes, and the homebound.  Good at sewing, embroidery, crocheting, or other crafts?  Make items for parishioners in need or drop them off at the local hospital or nursing home.  Love books?  Read for the neighbor or the patient who can no longer see well.  If all these things seem rather small, when done in love, they will be multiplied by God and you will receive an initial bonus of coming away feeling wonderful.  For the love of God (and neighbor) we must use well what the Lord has given us so that one day we, like the good servants, will hear: “Come, share your master’s joy.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s