Proper 28, Year A
Scripture: Matthew 25:14-30
We are working our way closer to the end of the Gospel of Matthew and our readings turn to messages and parables about what we are to do next, what might things look like when Jesus is gone?
Today’s parable, while it is about multiplying money, is about so much more. A talent is worth A LOT of money. For a slave who usually earned 1 denarius a day, it would take 20 years to earn a talent. So our master today is a very generous person and someone who believed in the varied abilities of the slaves, giving each “according to his ability.” The first two double what they were given, receiving praise from the master upon his return, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ In other words, the master is saying, “you have shown that I can trust you to grow what I have given you, and you have come to understand that was the purpose of the gift I gave you. Come and be a part of my celebration. The third slave, however, was scared of loosing the talent, so he hid it and did nothing with it. Upon the master’s return, he receives scorn and is called wicked and lazy. This is harsh, and that is on purpose. Jesus is trying to get across to those hearing the story that they are not supposed to hide and save what God has given them, but rather they are to use what God has given them, growing it so it can be used and have a bigger impact on the world. God does not bless us with things so we can bury them and save them for a specific time. God gives us things so we can cultivate them, nurture them, and develop them into something bigger and more grand. Not doing so, is to squander what God has given us, to waste our gifts and talents.