Parable of Talents
Parable of relaionship too??
One of the last parables in the Gospel of Mathew is the parable of talents (Mt 25, 14- 30). The master of the parable accepts the logic of the uniqueness of each person. He distributes talents to each of his servants according to their abilities. When the first two multiplied their talents, the third hid them.
One of the easy explantions is that each one of us are responsbible for the talents we received from God. Now this message has been misued (or stretched beyond the limit) to justify the phenomenon of inequality, especially the economic inequality. They might say that rich are using their talents, which is exactly the reason of their growing wealth; the poor are lazy, which is the reason of their diminishing wealth. As long as we do not forget that this parable was spoken by a certain man called Jesus of Nazareth, we can still avoid falling into that trap. Two questions spring out from this parable, that have contemporary revelance.
1. What are the talents in our lives? I asked some of my young friends, both men and women, for a response. The most popular responses were … the ability to study, to sing, to draw, to dance, to write, to play, etc. The less popular ones included… the ability to listen, to encourage others, to be honest with oneself etc. Interestingly, one young man told me that as a child, he considered empathy a talent, but no more in his adult life. We are more likely to consider intellectual abilities as talents; less likely to consider the fruits of the Holy Spirit — love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, temperance — as possible options of talents.
Without neglecting the intellectual capabilities, do we need to expand our definitions of talents?
2. Does the third servant have a good relationship with the master? The answer is a clear-cut NO. He was afraid of the master. He considered the master to be a villain. His trouble with the master continued even with the gifts of the master.
If I am a believer, do I see other human-beings and the creation as a gift/talent from God, the giver? And do I have a relationships with those gifts?