THE PARABLE OF THE
Scriptures use the figure of
a master entrusting something to his servants and then unexpectedly
returning to take an account of what he had entrusted. This is
the symbol of Christ having come to earth to entrust us with His
commands and then returning at the time of our death or at the end
of the world to demand an accounting from us.
Christ shows Himself to be a
patient man. He gives but does not demand an immediate return. He
To one He gave 5, to another
two, and the the third, one talent. Talents are whatever God has
given us. It could be time, speech, wealth, authority, spiritual
knowledge, husband or wife, marriage, children, illness or
The faithful servants, those
who received five and two, are said to have IMMEDIATELY transacted
business; they did not delay. The unfaithful servant with the one
talent delayed; in fact did nothing.
To transact business means
that the faithful servants immediately used the things they had
received from God in accordance to the commands of Christ, i.e.,
they used them in a manner pleasing to God. While the unfaithful
servant is said to have buried the talent under the ground, that is,
he used it to please himself by indulging in worldliness, symbolized
by the earth.
How do you earn profits from
your talent? By using whatever God has given you in a manner that is
PERFECTLY pleasing to God. Because if it is only partially pleasing
to God it does not earn profits. This is to be perfect as the
heavenly Father is perfect--we have to do things in a manner
perfectly pleasing to God.
For beginners in the
spiritual life, when they try to please God, they at first do not
succeed for lack of knowledge and practice. This does not earn them
profits. But if they persevere they will eventually earn their extra
Faithful servants double
their talents. What if you have five and earned only one? This would
be equivalent to burying four talents and could be as displeasing to
God as in the case of the third servant.
Christ rebukes the third
servant saying he should have loaned the talent to bankers who could
earn profits for Him. If you have knowledge of the commands of
Christ and don't want to obey them, then at least teach them to
others who will obey them and thus produce profits. If the
others do not obey too, you have not given them to bankers. Would
you give your wealth to others who will not use it for good works?
Of course not. There lies the defect of the unfaithful servant. He
would not give it to the bankers.
To those who had five and
two talents and had doubled their talents, more talents were given
to them. But to the lazy lout who had one, even the one that was
given was taken away from him. Since talents are needed to go to
heaven, what chance will he have? For the unfaithful servant,
because he was neglectful, he really never had the talent. God never
gives talents to those who He foresees will not double it
Let us find out what God has
given us all these years. And let us try to find out how we used
these things. If we have buried the talents, let us dig them out and
use them in a manner pleasing to God so that we may earn profits.
And we must do it now...before He comes.
Blessed Theoplylact: On