The Bible is filled with parables from the Lord, which He used to teach truth to His followers. Many times these parables began with the words, “For the kingdom of heaven is like…” and continues with simple stories of life that help us to understand what we can expect when we are judged by God. Today’s Gospel story is one such parable, so from the beginning we must prepare ourselves to hear about judgment. We don’t always like hearing about judgment, but when Christ speaks, we listen.
In today’s Parable of the Talents, (Luke 25.14-30) not actually about talent as we know the word today, three individuals are judged by God based upon how they used the financial gifts that God had given them. The more they received, the more they were expected to use to glorify God. Two of the three used the money that was given to them and earned twice what they had received. God was pleased and said, “Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.” Unfortunately for the third man who hid the gift God had given to him, God condemned him saying, “You wicked and lazy servant.”
First, remember this parable is about the judgment that is to come in the kingdom of heaven, so while we may not enjoy the end of the story, we nonetheless must be willing to hear the story as being about us and the gifts that God has given us. Some of us have been given many gifts, while others have received just a few gifts.
Second, remember that according to the parable, we are not judged based upon how many gifts we receive, but how we use those gifts for the glory of God. The more we receive the more that is expected of us from God. The more we use the gifts to glorify God, the more He will entrust to us. If we refuse to use the gifts, even if out of fear of judgment, God will condemn us as wicked and lazy.
Finally, as with every Gospel story we hear, remember the Church offers us these lessons not to make us feel bad, but to encourage us toward a life of repentance that God desires for us. The Church recalls these parables not so that we can simply learn what God said once a long time ago, but to understand He is speaking to us today. So, consider the blessings that God has given to you, and ask yourself whether you have used them to glorify God. What will your defense be when God asks for an accounting? Will He say “well done good and faithful servant,” or will He call you “wicked and lazy?” It is up to you.