A master was going on a journey. Before he left, he called in his servants. He gave each of them strange and extraordinary gifts. To the first servant, he gave a power which, until then, had never been seen or heard in the land. It was the power to make music and dance. The gifts of melody and rhythm were given to him for keeping.

The second servant received a power only the humans hold. It is the power of speech, to make words. He was given the gift of language. To the third servant, the master gave the greatest gift of all: the power to love. Having given all these gifts, the master set out on his journey.

One day, the master sent his son to ask what the servants had done with the gifts they had been given. The first servant used his gift of melody to write a new symphony, and had taught a young boy how to play the harmonica. He also taught a group of elderly people how to dance. They danced at weddings and parties, and the master’s son was very pleased.

The second servant who was gifted with words composed lullabies and wrote poetry. He said “yes” to good things and “no” to bad things. The master’s son was so pleased, he taught him another phrase: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The master’s son, again, was pleased.

What about the third servant, who was gifted love? He used his power to love himself, but not his neighbor. He loved money and bought things only for himself. He loved a woman enough to marry, but not have children. He wanted to travel and have a good time.

The servant came in fear of the master’s son and said, “I have not used your gift wisely. Now, it is too late.” The son was angry, but the servant asked for mercy. The son said, “I will give you one more year. Take your power and use it the right way. Visit the sick, learn to love them. Open your home to the homeless. Take the money you loved and give it to the poor.” The man went and did as he was told, at top speed. And the master’s son was pleased.

“None of you are worthless,” he said to the servants. “Welcome into my father’s house.”

My friends, you all have been given many gifts. Gifts to help you help each other and lead useful, happy lives. Do not bury them. God has given you each a special way to speak, listen, love and be a friend. You are called to lightness, not darkness. Use your gifts well and do not hide them.

Jesus is telling us in this parable that it doesn’t matter how many talents we have. What matters is how we use them. And all the talents or gifts that God has given us, be they little or great, are not to be used just for ourselves. They are to be used in the service of others, and in the service of the God who gave them to us.

And if we use them right, the master’s son will be very well pleased with us, and say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

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