The parable of the talents can sometimes be a difficult Gospel to wrap our heads around … but it doesn’t have to be. I think that some people can get hung up on the fact that this Gospel passage is actually about money but it can be easily applied to our natural gifts and talents as well.
I’m going to ask you to do something slightly uncomfortable right now. Stop for a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and identify what your God-given gifts are. This can be an uncomfortable practice because some of us (myself included) have trouble seeing what our gifts and talents are for a variety of different reasons. However, it is a necessary practice as each of us works to build up the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Okay, so, deep breath. I am … Fill in the blank with your gifts and talents. Here’s a few of my own, since I know I need more practice identifying my gifts: I am a strong writer. I am organized. I am a good listener. Keep your list going as long as possible. And, if you are having trouble coming up with different gifts and talents (I know I did), don’t be afraid to invite the Holy Spirit into a moment of prayer, asking him for help in seeing your gifts the way that he sees them.
Now, reflect on each individual talent that you listed. How does this gift help me to build up the Kingdom of God? For example, I am able to use my gift of writing to build up the Kingdom of God by writing different blogs like this to share the truths of the Gospel and our faith. I can also use this gift to the benefit of my parish by writing reflections for our bulletin and for editing different publications that we might put out.
Finally, let’s reflect on our gifts and talents in light of today’s Gospel. How can we be like the first two servants who took their five and two talents, respectively, and made an additional five and two talents? In other words, how can we use our current gifts and talents and build upon them in order to further our work of building the Kingdom of God? This might take some time to discern but I encourage you – do not be afraid of the possibilities! Through the grace of God and with the power of the Holy Spirit, our gifts can do great things in the world.
Erin Madden is a Cleveland native and graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville. She is passionate about the Lord Jesus, all things college sports and telling stories and she is blessed enough to get paid for all three of her passions. You can catch her on old episodes of the Clarence & Peter Podcast on YouTube as well as follow her on Twitter@erinmadden2016.
Feature Image Credit: Etienne Girardet, https://unsplash.com/photos/-ktUX4KHlU8