Parable of the Talents
God Given Gifts in Service of God
26 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? 27 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.
29 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. 30 As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
The theme of ‘being ready’, which dominated the last section, is still at the centre of this parable, which again portrays a ‘coming’ and its consequences for those who should have been preparing for it. But this parable takes up the question which that of the bridesmaids left unanswered: what is ‘readiness’? It is not a matter of passively ‘waiting’, but of responsible activity, producing results which the coming ‘master’ can see and approve. For the period of waiting was not intended to be an empty, meaningless ‘delay’, but a period of opportunity to put to good use the ‘talents’ entrusted to his ‘slaves’.
Our Lord had said, 24:45, that the true servant must be faithful and prudent.
The parable of the Talents illustrates the faithfulness required of each Christian in the administration of goods committed to him by the Master
In the fourteenth century, Dante goes a step further in his condemnation of those who live life with neither blame nor praise. These souls are imprisoned in hell’s vestibule, where they are caught in a rushing, whirling wind chasing a banner that never “takes a stand.” “These wretches, who had never truly lived, went naked, and were stung and stung again by the hornets and the wasps that circled them and made their faces run with blood in streaks; their blood, mixed with their tears, dripped to their feet, and disgusting maggots collected in the pus” (Inferno 3:64–69).