Reading I: Proverbs 31:10-13, 19-20, 30-31
Reading II: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
GOSPEL: Matthew 25:14-30
Multiply Your Gifts
We are all blessed with different gifts, talents and abilities. Some are high profile and obvious to others, but some of these things are not so easily seen. Whatever the case, we need to understand that all of them should be shared. The Lord gave us these different gifts, talents and abilities so that we would spread them around, not keep them hidden or locked away.
Use It or Lose It
How many of us have heard the phrase “use it or lose it?” Probably most of us – but usually in regards to sports or some other athletic activity. The mere fact that I have a black belt in karate does not mean that I can do the splits or throw a head-high kick. I could at one point, but not anymore!
“Use it or lose it” is very simple and self-explanatory. If you do not practice and perform, there will come a point where it will not be an option. You will lose what you once had. You won’t be able to run a 5 mile race, bench press 200 pound, sing an entire set with a rock band, or fire off a smooth guitar lick.
But does this phrase apply to our spirituality? Does it apply to other blessings? Are there other gifts and talents that we could possibly lose?
The Parable of the Talents
Jesus told his disciples the story of three servants who were given talents by their master before he went on a journey. Upon his return, he discovered that the two servants who had been given the most had multiplied their talents. The servant who had been given the least, on the other hand, simply buried his talent in the ground and gave it back upon his master’s return.
So why was the master upset with the servant who had been given the least? The servant hadn’t increased the talent, but he had not lost it either. So why the “wicked lazy servant” routine? Lazy – maybe. But wicked?
The key to answering that question is to look at what motivated the servant. Did he bury the talent in order to simply safeguard it until his master returned? No. By his own admission, he buried it out of fear. He knew his master was a “hard man,” so he chose not to take any risks. The servant buried the talent, thinking that in using it, he might lose it. Yet exactly the opposite happened.
Share Those Talents!
So what talents have you been given? What has God given you that you can use and share with others?
Can you sing? Then sing loudly! Sing to your family, sing in the church choir, sing in the car – sing wherever you can.
Can you write? Then write often! Write letters to the people you care about. Write letters to the editor. Write articles for your parish web site or share your writing on your own blog.
Can you dance? Then dance joyously! Dance with your family. Dance at recitals. Dance at receptions, parties, and gatherings. Be the person who gets others on their feet and having fun.
Can you listen? Then listen caringly. Listen to the people you love and the people you meet. Listen to the elderly, the lonely, and those in need of God’s love.
Whatever your talent – whatever your gift – use it. Use it often. Use it well. Use it to spread the Good News and glorify the Lord. Don’t be like the wicked lazy servant. Don’t bury it in the ground and have it taken from you.
Use it, and multiply your gifts!
What talents have been given to you? How do you use them?
What talent have you chosen not to use because you are afraid or embarrassed?
Name three things that you never thought of as talents, then go and use them!
Original article Brandon Jubar, 2002 – 2020.