Scripture Reflection for Sunday
by Dave O’Donnell
This coming Sunday’s gospel tells the parable of the talents. The Master having received from his servant on his return, double what he had originally given him was pleased and received his servant saying: “Well done my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities.” (Mt 25: 21) The servant grew his talents and was rewarded.
To the servant who received one talent however, and returned just that one talent, his master said: “You wicked and lazy servant. You knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter…Now then take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. (Mt 25: 26-28)
Because of fear this servant’s only action was to hide his talent and as a consequence he lost what little he had.
“Use it or lose it” might describe the lesson of this parable adequately—or is there more? The good servant acted out of faith and hope. The servant given one talent did not act because of fear and uncertainty. In my relationships with others there are no guarantees so there will always be uncertainties that can make me fearful. Yet I should act anyway. Faith and hope can give me that ability to act in those circumstances
Some people use this parable to suggest that Jesus is saying that to help a needy person is to cripple that person leaving him incapable of helping himself. But I believe this parable advices people with great and or small talents to use their talents to grow. If my talent is big enough to enable me to help others I have been blessed, not entitled. This is a parable about taking personal responsibility for our life’s situation.