Accounting of “Talents”
In an office setting, each employee is given certain duties and responsibilities by their employers based on talents, abilities and capabilities. Normally, a performance evaluation/rating is conducted at the end of the year to monitor and evaluate employees’ performance with the end view of making important decisions, e.g. achieving company’s goals/targets, promoting qualified employees, among others.
In the parable described in the Gospel reading for today, God wants us to convey something important particularly on His expectations of us, and on how we can relate to Him. In the said parable, the Master entrusted certain amount of “talents” to his 3 servants based on their capacity with instructions to do something about it (apparently not to keep it with them permanently). Two of the servants were smart enough, they have performed excellently, thus the Master acknowledged and praised for what they have achieved at the end of the day: “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.” (Matthew 25:23). However, the third servant who labeled God as “demanding” and who threw at him other insulting words failed to meet his Master’s goal, thus the “talent” was taken away from him and was given instead to the one who has accomplished more, and eventually got his punishment in the end.
Each of us is endowed with “talents” by God according to our abilities and capabilities. Each of us is unique and has a different capacity to do something. However, these talents given to us have corresponding responsibilities. We have to make use of God-given talents in a nice way, to make it more productive, something that would be able to help not only us and our loved ones but other people too – things that would make us happy and others too particularly those in dire need. When we receive talents or gifts from God, we have to reflect also on why said talents have been given to us? Why did God give this to me? What am I supposed to do with these talents? Note that we can’t just presume and think that since it was intended and meant for us, we can use it only for ourselves. God gifted us talents with the expectation, however, to utilize them wisely and not just to discard, waste or even make use of them for self-gratification or self-righteousness. We have to be good stewards of these God-given talents, hopefully to better our lives and to help those around us better their lives too. Perhaps, God wants us to make some changes in our lives if we have not been doing well. He wants us to refocus on what is really important in life; He wants us to redirect our attention not on material or worldly things but on what will make us closer to Him. He wants us to share His Good News – to spread the Word of God and His Kingdom everywhere.
When we have talents, we should not keep it to ourselves, or worse use it for bad and unproductive things. We are given so many chances and opportunities to be good stewards of these God-given talents. We should be reminded to be humble and to be grateful for all the graces and blessings we have received from God. We should not take these blessings for granted. These talents given to us should serve as reminder of God’s love and care for all of us, and that He wants us to share the same with others.
Going back to the story in the Gospel. What are the lessons have we learned from this parable and how can we apply to our faith journey? God wants us to utilize the talents given to us, particularly the gifts on our ability to love, to share and to serve because these things are readily feasible, visible and can be radiated to others. Let us strive to be like the 1st and 2nd servants who treated God as loving and generous, the God who has given us so many gifts in our lives to help us in making the Kingdom of God even here on earth joyful and peaceful. We have to show our ability to love and express our love for others, no matter what, especially if and when we want to receive love from other people and if we want to radiate the same to others.
Our loving and generous God, please help us to focus our minds on You, to keep our eyes on You and Your precepts. Keep us away from selfishness and greed, from temporary satisfaction and goals in life. May we be able to know You more, to love You more, and to serve You more here on earth – so that we can make you happy and others too, and in the end when the accounting of “talents” (final judgment) comes, may we be worthy to be called true followers of Yours and may we have at least “good performance” rating, or possibly an outstanding rating from You, Lord God. In Jesus Mighty Name. Amen.
Saint Monica, pray for us. Amen. (Patron Saint of the Day)
St. Monica, pray for us that we may, like your son St. Augustine, turn from our sins and become holy for the glory of God. Amen.