Gospel Mt 25:14-30
‘so I was afraid’
Inevitably, this Gospel reading lends itself to the kind of, ‘don’t waste your God-given talents’ interpretation. And really, that’s not a bad message to take away from the reading this Sunday. But perhaps there’s more to be learned here.
As a matter of fact, the thing that struck me the most when reflecting on this parable of Our Lord is the absolute recklessness of the two first servants, who traded all that they had been given in the hope of making more for their master. Their investment seems to me to be a pretty risky gamble, especially had they known that the was a “hard man”. Just imagine if they’d lost everything!
The one servant who very carefully goes about burying his talent for safekeeping was probably thinking to himself, ‘At least I won’t lose it. I will have something to give back to my master upon his return.’ In the end, we know what happened. The master looked upon his conservative attitude as irresponsible. Why is that?
What is it that Jesus has the master in this parable praise in the first two servants?
It is the fact that these talents are to be utilised, not fearfully protected. Talents are gifted to us not for our safekeeping, but to be put to work for the greater glory of God and the building up of His Kingdom – building a culture of life and love. Like the two first servants, we need to be fearless in putting our talents to work for the good, holding nothing back, clear in the knowledge that God will in fact bless our efforts when they are put to work in furthering His Kingdom.
Reflecting on the lives of the saints who have gone before us, we are given an opportunity to see radical generosity this lived out – Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Blessed Frederic Ozanam who sought to spare nothing as they poured themselves out in service of God through their service to those around them who needed it most.