REFLECTION | Parable of the talents: ‘Use your God-given gifts to inspire others’

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Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa/InterAksyon.

Imagine someone who, before going abroad, summoned his servants to entrust his property to them. He gave five talents of silver to one servant, two talents to another servant, and one talent to a third to each, according to is ability; and he went away. He who received five talents went at once do business with the talents, and gained another five. The one who received two talents did the same, and gained another two. But the one who received one talent dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.

After a long time, the master of those servants returned and asked for a reckoning. The one who had received five talents came with another five talents, saying, “Lord, you entrusted me with five talents, but see, I have gained another five more.”

The master answered “Well done good and faithful servant, since you have been faithful in a few things, I will entrust you in charge of many things. Come and share the joy of your master.”

Then the one who had received two talents came and said “Lord, you entrusted me with two talents with them I have gained two more.” The master answered “Well done good and faithful servant since you have been faithful in little things, I will entrust you in charge of many things.

Come and share the joy of your master.” Finally the one who had received one talent came and said, “Master, I know that you are a hard man. You reap what you have not sown, and gather what you have not scattered. I was afraid, so I hid your money in the ground. Here take what is yours!”

But his master replied, “Wicked and worthless servant, you know that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered. You should have deposited my money in the bank, and given it back to me with interest on my return. Therefore, take the talent from him and give it to the one who has ten. For to all those who have, more will be given and they will have an abundance; but from those who are unproductive even what they have will be taken from them. As for that useless servant, throw him out into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
—Matthew 25:14-30

There must be a higher reason and purpose on why we are borne. There is a reason for our being and purpose for our becoming. In the gospel reading, we are reminded of our talents that God has given us and how responsible have we been with the development and fruition of our God-given talents.

The parable of the talents that the Lord Jesus has shared with his disciples is still relevant to us today. The master in our gospel account has entrusted to his servants his possessions with clear instructions. Did we make good out of what was given to us? What did we do with what God has entrusted us? Did we use our talents for our good and for others’ good? Did we grow, develop, and improve ourselves from where we used to be? Did we make use of our giftedness and share these gifts with others?

Have we grown as better persons with the help of these talents? Do we see the difference of our past life to our present life? Am I like the servant in the gospel who invested what the master has given me or the servant who kept and hid the talent so that others may not get it? Am I the lazy and useless servant who did not do anything for the development of the talents that his master has given him?

As a family person and community figure, have I become a better leader or manager? Have we helped improve the lives of others?  Have we made use of our talents for family and community building? Have we accepted and owned our talents and have not become envious of others’ talents? Have we become better parents to our children or better children to our parents? Have we become good leaders of a group or a good friend to the neighborhood? Because if we have done any good for what we have, even the little talent that we have will be taken back for there is no use for it. Have we pursued and reached the maxim of our commitment and resolve?

These are concerns that the gospel has exhorted and the disciples had to reckon with. If we do not do anything with what we have, we may have regrets someday because there will be wailing and grinding of teeth for useless and purposeless servants. We have to do something good from what the Lord has given us. So that when the time comes when we meet the one true Master, he will say to us: “Well done, good and faithful servants.”

Let us pray, reflect and ask ourselves:

Have I really done what is expected of me?

Did I share selflessly the talents, skills and gifts that I have in building God’s reign?

Have I grown as a person and as a Christian?

Am I a good and faithful servant and child of God?

Prayer
Almighty and Ever- living God, may we always be grateful of what you had given and gifted us. May we learn to accept who we are and what we have so we can truly and faithfully serve you with the best we can. May we grow in grace and love of you so that we may find meaning in what we can offer and share with our brothers and sisters for your glory. This we ask through Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Intention
Let us remember our brothers and sisters who are deprived of a good life; those who are the least and lost in our society; those who are confused and do not know what to do with their lives and talents; may the Lord show them the right way and guide them to the right path.