The story of the Talents


Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 430  Mt 25:14-30

Jesus parable of the master entrusting talents to his servants is at one glance simple to understand, but on a second glance it turns quite enigmatic.The quick lesson is that those who use their talents are rewarded and those who do not suffer. The enigma occurs when trying to identify the talent, just as in life it can be difficult to identify our own personal talents. The talent was not a coin, but instead was the mass of water needed to fill a vessel known as a amphora. That mass is 130 pounds. Its value is implied as a precious metal (gold or silver), but that is an assumption on the part of he reader: just as we don’t always value our talents appropriately. Some view themselves as worth their weight in gold, when their talents are more properly priced in salt. Others take the exact opposite approach. The talent of the proud versus the talent of the humble? Could the master have been angry at the one who buried his talent done so because he knew the true worth of that talent? Could there be buried in this parable a commentary on the talents of the Empire, versus the talents of Jesus’s disciples?Could it be that an Empire might have a lot of talent to show(but of little true worth), while the humble disciples talents had little flash, but incredible value?It seems the story of the talents raises more questions than it answers, yet somehow leads to the truth. That was Jesus’s talent.

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