In last week’s Gospel, Jesus taught that His disciples must remain vigilant and ready to receive the Son of Man at any time. The Parable of the Talents in today’s Gospel is about trust.
The story opens with an act of trust. The master is about to leave town on a journey. He entrusts his wealth to three servants. Each is given a different sum of money - one talent or two or five. It’s clear that the master trusts each of his servants. He even hands over the money without any instructions.
After a long time, the master returns and calls in his three servants. Two of them have doubled their money. The third has made nothing at all; he returns to his master exactly what he received. It turns out that this servant had simply buried the money in the ground, a common security measure in ancient times. He reveals the reason for his action: he was afraid of his master and did not trust him. The master commends the two servants who doubled their talents with the same commendation: “Well done, good and faithful servant”. Both receive the same invitation “You have been faithful over a few things, I will set you over many things. Enter into the joy of your master.”
The third servant, however, acts out of fear and has only preserved what was given to him because he was afraid to lose the money. He has risked nothing; he did not even deposit the money in a bank to earn interest. This servant is punished by the master, and his talent is given to the one who brought the greatest return.
This Gospel reminds us that Christian spirituality is not passive or inactive. Our life of prayer helps us to discern the gifts that have been given to us by God. This prayer and discernment ought to lead us to faithfully use our gifts in the service of God and our neighbor. God’s grace allows us to share in the work of serving the Kingdom of Heaven.
In the 2nd reading St. Paul reminds us that the Day of the Lord will “comes like a thief in the night.“ Thieves don’t signal that they are coming. They strike when least expected. The day of the Lord will be like that. It will come at an unexpected time. Thus it is important to be prepared for its coming. He reminds us in vs. 6 “so then let’s not sleep, as the rest do but let’s watch and be sober” Believers must live in a state of spiritual readiness—ready to meet spiritual challenges—ready to parry the tempter—ready to defend the faith.
Are we ready and waiting faithfully using all the talents that God has blessed us with for God’s Kingdom and glory?