Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

The Parable of the Talents

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 25:14-30.

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one– to each according to his ability. Then he went away. Immediatelythe one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. 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.’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.’ (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.’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.’ 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; so 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! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter?Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.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.And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”

When you think about it, the master of the household made a gamble when he left his possessions to his servants. When many of us think that the Gospel is all about the talents, I see it as about a Master who put faith in his servants. What the servants did to the talents is but a reflection of how much value they placed on the faith that the Master showed them.

It would be easy to focus too much on our ability to increase investments and value. Afterall we are gifted creatures who gifted with creativity and imagination can turn into reality dreams and visions of the future. Along with it also is the opposite fear and insecurity that paralizes our spiritual and creative faculties. But God is not a businessman nor are we created to be investment firms.
God had often compared Himself as a Shelpherd or a Gardener. Of all the analogies to human work he chose that which represents most his nature – nurturing love. I believe this framework of love allows him to put faith in each of us knowing too well human frailty. So he lavishly grants his blessings and gifts to his sons and daughters, giving them the talents to develop, the time to grow, and the environment needed for them to bear fruit. 
I now believe the talents would not stand by themselves without the wager of faith that God has placed in man.
It is right then that man should respond in faith. Or better to bear fruit in faith after faith has been planted in him. A Faith that believes in a God who created us good and deserving to be loved. A Faith that values giftedness and personhood. A Faith that allows and invites others to bear fruit together. For the Lord has planted a vineyard and not just one plant, he pastures a flock and not just one sheep.
In the parable of talents, I see a Gardener and a Shepherd who makes a gamble in his servants. He leaves all that he has to them. Will they respond in faith?


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