"To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one-- to each according to his ability." Mt 25:15
That everyone has a talent is probably self evident to most of us, and oftentimes we are very grateful for the talents of a friend who can tweak a computer, fix a faucet or sit with us when we are lost. While the talent might not seem very important to them, when we are in need, the talents of generous friends are a precious gifts.
What is not self evident, however, is that our talents, in a gospel context, are not for ourselves. Each of us has been gifted by God for the sake of others. We are part of a community, we are the body of Christ, and as a community of faith we can only be ourselves and function well when all the parts are playing their proper role. We do not need a hand to be a foot, or an ear to be a mouth. We need each part of the body to be itself for the good of the whole.
The gospel today reminds us that there is no reason to fear. God is with us, will protect us and demands that we give away our talents no matter anxious we might be about having enough for ourselves. Some reading the gospel today are people with multiple talents. If, however, they use those talents only to satisfy their own needs for power or security, they condemn themselves. While Jesus uses the person with one talent, who buries it for fear he will lose it, to challenge us to go beyond our fears, all of us, no matter how poor or wealthy, must guard against greed. Not only our property and our money, but our ideas, our creativity, our lives only make sense in a gospel setting when they are handed over for the good of all people and all nations.
Today, rejoice in your talent. Then give it away to whomever needs it.
Who has shared her or his talents with you when you were most in need?