Every time we hear Parable of the Talents, we immediately equate it with the natural talents God has given us. It may be our intelligence, our special skills, our athletic prowess or artistic abilities. Truly those talents are gifts given to us by God which need to be cultivated, developed and share with others for his glory. But if we study the parable closely, the talents referred to by Jesus in the gospel are not only limited to temporal blessings—things we can use, earn for a living and share with others while in this earthly life. Jesus, in using the parable, conveys to us a lesson shown through symbols and representations. It is obvious that the master is Jesus himself. Going away on a journey symbolizes his ascension into Heaven to prepare a place for us. Like the master in the parable, upon His return at the end of our life, he would ask an account of what we have done with those possessions entrusted to us. The parable tells us a plain truth: All that Jesus possesses has been given to us. A talent in Jesus’ day was a measure of money, a very large measure of money in fact. One talent was equal to 15 year’s salary of an average worker; or a hundred pounds of silver. That means, the man who received only one of the master’s talents received a huge amount, a 15 year’s pay. The man therefore who received 5 talents received the equivalent of 75 year’s pay. It was therefore, a huge amount which could support almost our lifetime—much more if we properly and wisely make use of them. But that is not what the parable simply conveys. Jesus wants to make us realize us that he has given us a big capital that we need and can use for the rest of our life. He is referring to a possession of unimaginable value. Certainly, Jesus does not equate it with material possessions. Otherwise Mary, the Apostles, or his disciples could have died as rich people when they followed the advice of Jesus in the parable. They could have been wealthy persons. The fact is Jesus did not have material possessions to leave behind for his Apostles. He owned only a nice seamless robe but later on taken by the soldiers when they crucified him. Neither Jesus intends to refer to natural talents when he spoke of possessions. Jesus must certainly has a skill in carpentry and eloquence in preaching, but did he passed these talents to any of his followers—in such a way that learning the craft, the Apostles or his disciples could have been good carpenters or teachers. Jesus was well aware that amterial possessions, skills and abilites can be fleeting. The possessions Jesus shared with us are worth far more than the five talents, the first servant received.
- From the moment we were baptized, Jesus gave us all that He possessed. He gave us His divine sonship, the dignity of being children of God.
- He gave us the infinite riches of His Holy Spirit, especially the Gifts of the Spirit.
- He shared with us the rich possession of His Mother Mary to be our Mother, our help through life.
- He gave Himself to us the Eucharist and the sacraments.
- He gave us the gift of vocation to Marriage or Priestly and Religious Life to build up the Body of Christ the Church.