Our Gifts and Talents –
in the Service of God and our Neighbour
Today is the last ordinary Sunday of the Church year and coming Sunday we celebrate the feast of Christ the King. This week’s Gospel speaks of how Jesus’ disciples are to conduct themselves as they await the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus’ parable of talents talks about Christian discipleship using economic metaphors. Before he leaves on a journey, the master entrusts to his servants a different number of talents, giving to each according to their abilities. A talent is a coin of great value. Upon the master’s return, he finds that the first and second servants have doubled their money, and both are rewarded. The third servant, however, has only preserved what was given to him because he was afraid to lose the money. He has risked nothing; he did not even deposit the money in a bank to earn interest. This servant is punished by the master, and his talent is given to the one who brought the greatest return. The parable teaches that God’s judgment will be based on the service we render to God and to one another in accordance with the gifts that God has given to us. Our gifts, or talents, are given to us for the service of others. If we fail to use these gifts, God’s judgment on us will be severe. On the other hand, if we make use of these gifts in service to the Kingdom of Heaven, we will be rewarded and entrusted with even more responsibilities.
This Gospel reminds us that Christian spirituality is not passive or inactive. Let us recognize our gifts and use them for the good of others. Let’s not play it safe, hide or bury the talents, like the fearful third servant did, where they can’t impact anyone else. Let’s invest them in growing the kingdom of God. Our life of prayer helps us to discern the gifts that have been given to us by God. This prayer and discernment ought to lead us to use our gifts in the service of God and our neighbour. God’s grace allows us to share in the work of serving the Kingdom of Heaven.