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Bible reflection: Gospel of talents

Michele Frankeni  |  28 August 2019

In this week’s Bible reflection we learn of the servants who were entrusted with great wealth by their master and how they repaid him.

Gospel reading for Saturday, 31 August 2019
Matthew 25:14-30
‘You have been faithful in small things: come and join in your master’s happiness’

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples: ‘The kingdom of Heaven is like a man on his way abroad who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one; each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out.

‘The man who had received the five talents promptly went and traded with them and made five more. The man who had received two made two more in the same way. But the man who had received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

‘Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back and went through his accounts with them. The man who had received the five talents came forward bringing five more. “Sir,” he said, “you entrusted me with five talents; here are five more that I have made.”

‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

‘Next the man with the two talents came forward. “Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with two talents; here are two more that I have made.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have shown you can be faithful in small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your master’s happiness.”

‘Last came forward the man who had the one talent. “Sir,” said he “I had heard you were a hard man, reaping where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered; so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground. Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.” But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant! So you knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered? Well then, you should have deposited my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have recovered my capital with interest. So now, take the talent from him and give it to the man who has the five talents. For to everyone who has will be given more, and he will have more than enough; but from the man who has not, even what he has will be taken away. As for this good-for-nothing servant, throw him out into the dark, where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’

Questions and reflections

  • What is a talent referred to in the Gospel reading?
  • How do we understand the word talent nowadays?
  • Using the modern meaning for the word, think about your talents. What are you good at? How can you use your talents to benefit your family and society?
  • Why do you think God punished the servant for hiding his talent and not using it for any useful purpose? 

Reflection from
1 Thessalonians 4:9-11. Psalm 97(98):1, 7-9. Matthew 25:14-30.
The Lord comes to rule the earth with justice – Psalm 97(98):1, 7-9.
‘You have been faithful in small things; enter into the joy of your Master.’

In the parable of the talents, there is a sense of reward for using our talents well and of consequences for wasting them. Beyond that is the idea that God wants – even expects – us to take risks, to stretch beyond our boundaries in using the talents we have. He expects those of us with much to apply our skills creatively and wisely to improve our world. Another message we receive is the generosity of God. Most of us are given more than we need. Therefore, we who are rich in human potential have plenty to share.

Let us take risks, and not be afraid to do things that may appear foolish to others but leave us feeling consoled in the presence of God. Creator God, send life to me this day, that I may discern how best to use the talents you have given me. Give me wisdom and energy.


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