When someone entrusts us to be in charge of something, He also expects the day we shall give an account of all that he gives to us. The parable of talent is not only talking about talent or money. The parable has an eschatological undertone.
After Jesus has told His apostles to be awake, watchful and ready at all times. He uses the parable of the talents to explain more on the need to be watchful.
The desire to let His apostles know that He would come again and at an unexpected time led to the parable of the talents.
After Jesus has told the apostles to stay awake. He now says that what He said is like “a man about to go abroad”. Then Jesus begins to tell them the parable of the talent.
Therefore, Jesus uses this parable to tell His apostles that His going is for a short time. Therefore, they should prepare for His second coming. When He comes, He would reward all according to their deeds and works.
So, Jesus is therefore telling us through the parable of the talents that at the end, we must all give an account of whatever we have done and did not do.
We shall give an account of all that God gives to us. So, this parable is not only telling us how talented we are, it goes beyond that.
Also, remember that it was after telling them the parable of the talents, Jesus now talks about the last judgment on what shall happen when the son of man will take His glory in heaven When He will separate the sheep from the goats (Matthew 25:31-34).
Then after saying all these, He reminded His apostles that in two days, the son of man would be handed over (Matthew 26:1-2).
Therefore, the parable of talents is more about the end. It is more about what God expects from us at the end. The parable is teaching us that there is reward and punishment awaiting us at the end.
So, Jesus uses the parable of the talents to teach us the need to work and that every work has a reward from the Father.
So at the end of life, God shall hold us responsible for whatever He has given to us. It involves both the natural endowments we see as talents, our gifts, our positions, services, our human and natural resources. We must give an account of how we have become selfless and selfish.
We shall give an account of the people we helped and intimidated. God expects us to recount to Him how we have used and misused all the opportunities He gives to us. We shall also give account of how we use and waste the resources and time He has given to us.
The parable of the talents teaches us many things but in today’s reflection, we shall take just a few. These are:
- Use Your Initiative.
In the gospel, Jesus says that the kingdom of Heaven is like a man who on his way abroad summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them.
To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out.
Read thoroughly, you would see that the Man did not tell them what to use the money to do. He just gave it to them and left. Therefore, He expects them to use their initiatives.
In this parable, Jesus is telling us “do not wait for God to come and push us to do what we are supposed to do”.
By giving it to the servants in the parable, the servants have already known that they need to invest the talents. Therefore, let us use our initiative and make out something good from what God has given to us.
- We are just Servants.
The talents were given to servants in this gospel. Therefore, they are those who serve the Master. The master in this gospel is Jesus who is going to come again and the servants are the people He is entrusting every resources to.
In essence, God entrusts to us every resources to work for Him. He also entrusts to us the care of saving and touching souls.
So, we are just mere servants. This gospel tells us that we are in this world not to serve ourselves but to serve God.
Therefore, in whatever service you render, do it for the glory of God.We shall give account of all He gives us. Therefore, when we find ourselves in certain positions, God expects us to use what we have and serve Him.
The servants invested their talents to win the heart of the man. Therefore, we have to work and serve God to win His heart and achieve salvation at the end.
Do not serve God or work for him for the sake of what you are to gain only. Serve God to make Him happy. When we work so that God can become proud of us, there is no greater height that we will never go in life.
- What We have God gives us.
In this parable, we see the master who gave the three servants the talents. It means that what the servants have is not their own.
Someone is the owner and He gives to each one according to His strength. Therefore, what we have, where we are, whichever position that we occupy, we are not the owner. Someone gives them to us. And if someone gives them to us, we do not behave as if we are the next God. No earthly position is permanent.
Therefore, where you are today, another person would still occupy it. We are not where we are today because we made it possible. Some people did more than what you did but still, they didn’t get there. You are what you are because God made it possible. So, every good and perfect gift we have comes from God (James 1:17).
- It Goes Beyond Talent.
The word talent used in this parable is the Greek word talenton which was a unit of exchange as of that time. Talenton could be gold, silver, copper etc, each one with its value.
Verse 18 uses the Greek word Argyrion, a word that can either mean money or silver. But one common value of it when exchanged could be about six thousand denarii. In essence, this is something that gives value to the lives of the people when they exchange it for trading.
Some modern interpretations see this parable to revolve only around natural endowments but it goes more than that to mean everything that gives value to the lives of the people.
It includes the natural endowments, the spiritual endowments, the services we render, our positions, our skills, our natural and human resources, the children God has given to you, etc. In essence, we shall give an account of all that God gives to us.
Be Ready At All Times.
In the gospel, Jesus uses the phrase “in no distant time, the master came back” to tell his disciples that His coming again won’t take time”.
Therefore, this reminds them of the shortness of life and the need to be ready at all times.
In the parable also, you can see that the master did not tell the servants the time he would come back. He took them unawares.
Therefore, God expects us to be awake, working, praying and touching lives. When He would come, we do not know. Therefore He expects us to keep working until He comes back.
There is A Day of Judgement.
In the parable, just as the master calls his servants to come and give an account of their stewardship is the way we must give an account of our stewardship.
We shall give an account of all that God gives to us. We shall give an account of how we misused our earthly positions both in the family, religious and political fields.
Therefore, we shall give account of all our actions and inaction.
Like the servant who decided not to work was punished, we can also be punished because we have refused to work.
Therefore, God expects us to work and not remain idle. We shall tell Him what we did with all His graces, gifts, time, resources, etc.
Are we ready to give an account? What can we tell God that we used our time to do? What can we tell God that we used the resources He gives to us to do? Are we ready for the day of reckoning? The day may take us unawares.
May God have mercy on us and give us the grace to live a good life. Amen,