November 15, 2020: Thirty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel: 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.
“Immediately the 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 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.’”
I think I was in my mid-30s when I finally understood this Gospel. I was always focused on how sorry I was for the one who buried his coin. Imagine not taking a risk, thinking you’re doing the right thing and then being punished for it. That, however, is not the point I found out. It’s not about the money alone. It’s about the “talents” we have been given by the Creator. Those things that make us special in only the way we can be. By hiding or hoarding these gifts we are not paying tribute to the one who gave then to us. These talents or gifts are to be shared.
God calls us to nurture and develop our talents that he has so generously given us. They’re not to be buried and then brought out when convenient. Consider this week the talents you have been given; reflect on how they can best be used to help others.