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13. The Parable of the Talents
(Matthew 25:14-30)

a) Are You Talented?
(Matthew 25:14-18)
14“For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.15And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.16Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.17And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.18But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. (Luke19:12-27, Romans12:6)

We have here the parable of the talents committed to three servants. This implies that we should be in a state of work and business, just as the previous parable implies that we should be in a state of expectancy. The first showed the necessity of constant preparation; the second of diligence and stewardship in our present work and service. In the first, we were admonished to prepare our own souls; in the second, to prepare the way for the work of God in the souls of others.
Every person is a miracle of God, made in His image. You are uniquely gifted in body, mind, and soul. You have been given many talents and gifts. You are not like a stone or a plant - you move willingly. You feel pain and enjoyment. Have you thanked your Lord for the great gifts that He has given you? It is easier to appreciate God's gifts when you try to imagine life without them. How much do you value your eyesight? Or hearing? You are richer than you can imagine; you are blessed. When, therefore, are you going to fall on your knees to thank and worship your Creator? For whoever thanks the heavenly Father is in accord with Him. Whoever praises Him for the gifts given to him serves him joyfully. The selfish man does not think of God; but of his own welfare, seeking honor and respect. The thankful man, however, honors and serves his Lord with all his strength, humbly and modestly. What will you do for your Lord? The goal and meaning of your life is to give praise to our heavenly Father. A man that is not thankful is spiritually dead and cold-hearted. In thanking the Lord, you demonstrate spiritual wisdom and a loving heart.
The three servants in the parable were not all given the same, for they didn't all have the same abilities. God is a free agent, "distributing to each one individually as he wills" (1 Corinthians 12:11). Some people are designed for one type of service, others another, just as the parts of the natural body are designed for different functions. Every person, and each gift and talent is useful in the service of Christ; so move, work, and serve your Lord with your hands, legs, possessions, time, and money. All that you have is beneficial for sacrificial service to God and men. Ask your Creator to furnish you with wisdom that you may serve Him in a more fruitful way.
Put all your gifts before your heavenly Father. Honor Him and He will call you His son or daughter. If you give the poor in your community from the richness of your gifts, He will increase your blessing. Serve the Lord tirelessly in your house, school, job, and free time, and you will become a pleasant and cheerful servant. The selfish man who clings to all he has is like a bottle full of sour vinegar, but the faithful servant of the Lord, who gives to all, is like perfumed incense. Practice, then, the following rule of St. Paul: "And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men." (Colossians 3:23).

Heavenly Father, we thank You because You gave to us, out of Your fullness, grace for grace, and gift for gift. Who are we? And who are You? We are not worthy of the flood of Your blessings. For the sake of Christ's blood, we are enabled to live before You, and in the power of Your Spirit, we breathe. Help us that our life may be one of thankfulness to You, and help us to share of Your blessings with those who live around us that they partake of joy and supplication before You.
What are the gifts you have been endowed with?