The other Sunday, 13th November, the Holy Gospel talked about the Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25: 14-30) wherein the Master is leaving for a journey and entrusted his possessions to his three servants. He divided of what is so-called the “talents” according to the servants’ ability: three, two and one to each of them. As stewards of the Master’s wealth, the first two servants, knowing the character of their Lord or Master, “traded” their talents and doubled them up. The third servant who feared and mistrusted his Lord, buried his share of the talent and returned it as is back to his Master. The two stewards were praised, given more responsibilities and shared the Master’s joy while the third one was rejected and persecuted. “For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
All of us has been given “talents”. We were all born stewards of God’s wealth and resources meaning, all we are and all we have belongs to God and He entrusted us these belongings to grow in value. Therefore, we must discover, acknowledge, develop, use and share these “talents” according to God’s character and instructions until the end of our lives. And we must remember, He will make a final accounting when that day comes, whether these talents were valued and multiplied or not.
And so we know that our talents – time, resources and ability – are just lent to us; isn’t it just right to lend or share it as well to others? But how do we begin to be a blessing to other people? First, we must discover and acknowledge every single simple “talent” that we have and use it as wisely as we can. But then again, understanding the human character, it is more easier said than done. According to Rev. Fr. Jerry Orbos, there are three causes of talent failure for most of us: pride, laziness and selfishness. Pride stops us from developing our talents and working hard to achieve its highest value. We often tend to reject it out of shame and arrogance. We are all given the time, resources, means and the capacity to increase our value but we oftentimes blow these chances away because we tend to procrastinate or lose interest and diligence. It’s even more worse when we waste our talents for selfish interests. Some professionals would care more about their fees in exchange of their services. We of course know the fact that being professional in our fields of interest is hard-earned and we all worked hard to attain our status quo. But what harm will it cause for some small acts of charity out of what we have? Remember: the more we have, the more we get rich if use it responsibly and unselfishly.
God has blessed us so much. Some of us were given one or two talents and some are multi-talented. Isn’t it so unfair? When God showered talents, some got more so easily, the others have to work for it harder. Some got beauty with brains and money; some received only brains with no beauty (just quoting a famous joke in analogy). After all, the bottomline is, whatever God gave us, develop and use it for others’ and for God’s glory. Look at the other side of life where some people are born incapable of doing things: no sight to appreciate the beauty; deprived of motor functions to wander; and lost their hearing and voice to speak the richness of the Word. Yet, it is still amazing to see them pushing it hard and motivate themselves to be the stewards of God’s creation. To us, maybe it seems unbearable when we see them coping up with their current state, but out of love and commitment, for them, their devotion is not at all so difficult.
There is one more remark that Fr. Jerry emphasized during the homily: Blessed are you who have talents but blessed more are you who see and encourage talents of others. Let us be an inspiration and blessing to those who disregard and misuse their talents.
Talents are not only for display; it is for good use. All that we are, all that we have comes from the Lord. There’s nothing to be proud of.