“For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.
After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them .Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’
Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest.
So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
St. Ignatius Loyola asks those who make a retreat to consider one’s life from the vantage point of one’s death. It is an imagined scene, but eventually a real one. The retreatant is asked to judge his choices from that backward and final glance. Did I, as the Gospel suggests, live a full Christian life or am I now about to enter eternal life unfulfilled? Yes, I can certainly point to good thoughts, deeds, kindnesses to others and adoration of my God. But I am not returning to God all that He had hoped I would be. After thinking of these things, I return to the present, to prepare for death and life with God.
What can I offer Him? What will I offer Him? Other human beings are a constant, living example of successful, but also miserable choices. Let me think of Christ, who chose wisely, valiantly.
–John Kilgallen, SJ, Chicago-Detroit province Jesuit, is emeritus professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.
Lord, if I want to be mindful of my talents and use those gifts to their fullest, I must ask that your Spirit unite with my spirit. On my own I may let greed, selfishness, or self-doubt minimize my talents. When I surrender myself to you, I discover that I am more capable, more secure, and more aware of seizing opportunities and serving others more completely and more consistently. Lord, I will not complain that others have more talents than I do. I will trust that you gave me just the right type and the right amount of gifts to serve you day by day.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team