The Master 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, until then, had never been heard or seen in the land; it was to make music and to dance. The gifts of melody and rhythm were put into his keeping.

To the second servant, the Master gave a power so wonderful that the entire kingdom does not have it, only the human. It was the power of speech, to make words, the gift 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 He had given them.

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. He also taught the old people how to dance. And there was dancing in the streets, and they danced at family reunions, and at graduations, and weddings and the Master’s Son was very pleased.

What about the man who had the power to speak, 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 said “Yes” and “No;” yes to what was good and no to the bad.

The Master’s Son was so pleased that He taught him some more words, like, “Forgive us our trespasses and we forgive those who have trespassed 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 children because they said they did not want to be tied down. They wanted to travel, and have a good life.

The servant came in fear to the Master’s Son, and said, “I have not used wisely 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….”

The Son was 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, bring them flowers, learn to love them.”

“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 crippled, and the deaf.”

The man went and did as he was told, working at top speed, and the Master’s Son was pleased.

“None of you are worthless,” he said. “Welcome into my Father’s house.”

My friends, you have all been given many gifts. Gifts to help you help each other and to lead useful lives. Do not bury them.

God has endowed each of you in a special way…. To speak…. To listen…. To love…. To be a friend. You are all called to light, not darkness.

Use your gifts well, do not hide them. Use the gifts that God has given you. His gifts are meant to be given, not clutched.

Then the Master’s Son will be very pleased, and say to you one day, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter the Kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world.”

Sometimes we take for granted the gift of speech, of touch, of caring. Speech…. Do you feel blessed or cursed? Touch…. Violence, or a handshake? Do you care for everyone? These seemingly ordinary but wonderful gifts that we can use to bring peace or pain.

Jesus is telling us in this parable that it is not how many talents we have, what matters is how we use them. We are not equal in talents, but we can be equal in effort.

And the talents or gifts that God has given all of us, be they little or great, are not to be given to us just for ourselves. They are to be used in the service of others, and of the God who gave them to us. Then the Master’s Son will be very pleased.

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