Parable of the Talents
A Pastor at a small church in Rhode Island gave each family $10. There were no strings attached except the reminder of today’s gospel. Four hundred parishioners received a total of $4,000. They left church feeling very much akin to the gospel servant. The Pastor trusted them to make a return on the investment. The parishioners invested in all kinds of ways: meatballs, weaving machine, selling wine, staked $10 on a poker game and came away with $500. Four months later the $4,000 investment had grown to $10,000. Half the profit went towards the Parish debt and half to the poor.
Each of us has gifts, wonderful gifts far more precious than money. If they are not recognized, it is because we bury them and take them for granted. Let us retell the Parable of the Talents. A man was going on a journey and before he left, he called in his servants and gave them each strange and wonderful gifts.
To the first, he gave a power, which had been unseen and unheard of in the land. It was to make music and to dance. The gifts of melody and rhythm went into his keeping. To the second servant the master gave a power so wonderful that the entire animal kingdom does not have it. Only the human, it was the power of speech, the gift of words, of language. To the third servant the good master gave the greatest gift of all, it was the power to love. Having given all these strange and wonderful gifts, he began his journey.
One day the master sent his son to ask what they had done with their talents. The first servant had used his gift of melody and music to write a symphony and a rock concert. He had taught a small boy how to play the harmonica. They danced at family reunions and at graduations and weddings. The master’s son was very pleased.
What about the man who had the power to speak and to use words? At first, he used the power to call out stock market quotations and to shout strange words like buy and sell. Then he found other uses for words, he made lullabies and wrote poetry. He used words like “Please,” and “Thank you,” he used this word “Power” in one more way. To say “yes and no,” yes to what was good and no to the bad. So, the master’s son taught him some more words like, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The master’s son was very pleased.
What about the third man who had received the most precious gift of all? He had used his power to love himself but not his neighbor as himself. He loved money, but only to buy more things for himself. He loved a woman and that was good, they married and that was good. But they did not love enough to have just one child because they said they did not want to be tied down. They wanted to travel and see the world, to have nice things. The servant came in fear to the master’s son and said, “I have not wisely used your gift of love and now it is too late. I have nothing to show for my love except a bank account, a Mercedes, two homes and a boat.”
The son was very angry, but the servant asked for mercy. The son said, “I will give you one more year. Take your power to love and go to a nursing home, learn their names and bring them flowers. Take one of your homes and use it for anyone who is homeless. Take the money you have loved and give it to the hungry, give it to the blind and the handicapped or deaf.”
The man went and did as told; working top speed and the master’s son was pleased. “None of you are worthless,” he said, “Welcome into my father’s house.” All of us have gifts, fabulous gifts. Gifts that you may have taken for granted, gifts that you may have misused. The gift of touch, the hand that can be used to strike as well as caress. The gift of speech, the tongue that can curse as well as bless.
I am not going to pass out $10 bills, it is not that I do not trust you; it is simply because we are virtual and $10 would be absurd in relation to the gifts you already possess. Hear what the gospel is saying, invest well but invest and the master’s son will be well pleased