In today’s Gospel (Mt. 25, 14-15, 19-21) Jesus talks about the parable of the talents, with the admonition that we be faithful and responsible in handling the talents that God has given us. We all will give an accounting of our talents someday. Let us make sure that we are not burying nor abusing the talents given to us by God.
Are some people more gifted than others? Yes. Some have received more natural endowments than the rest of us. By worldly standards, this may sound unfair, but everything evens up at the final accounting when each one of us will be judged not according to the quantity but according to the development and use of our talents.
Some people live successful lives—that is, they become rich, powerful or even famous by sheer talent and hard work. However, their lives, though comfortable, are empty because they never reach out and affect other people; they have left the source of their talents out of the picture. The place and the time for the payback is in your here and now.
Many of us can be faulted with the fact that when it comes to money matters, we are zealous and diligent in the use of our talents. But when it comes to spiritual matters, we are lazy and calculating. Someone once remarked that when it comes to praying or doing some apostolate, our usual response is “we have no time.” But when it comes to worldly activities like gambling, drinking, partying our enthusiastic response is: “we have eight hours.!”
“To whom much is given, much is also required.” This passage from the Bible should remind us that we will have to give a final accounting to the Giver of talents someday. When that day comes, may we come before God’s presence and be able to say to Him: “Mission accomplished, Lord!” And may we hear Him tell us: “Well done, my good and faithful servant!”
An advice to the young: Know your talents, and develop your talents. An advice to the middle-aged: Use and maximize your talents, but don’t abuse your talents. An advice to the old: Prepare for the final accounting of your talents, and pass on your talents to the world you leave behind.
Let us be consoled with the Lord’s words today: It is not so much our big achievements but our faithfulness in small matters and responsibilities that matter in the end. Yes, let’s all do whatever we can, even in “our small way,” to serve God and humanity.
Think about this: The saddest words to hear at the end of our lives is: “You wasted it.”
Lord, in the final accounting may I not be found guilty and wanting, Amen.