Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
The parable of the talents
“It will be as when a man who was going on a journey called in his servants … To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–to each according to his ability. Then he went away … After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five … ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant … (Then) the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant …Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’ His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. Mt 25,14-29
“Let’s think – Monsignor Guzzetti told us some day – how much the world would be unjust if, in the end, we would be all judged not according to the principle of the parable of the talents”. The today gospel passage caused him to ponder about for the entire life and, since many years, it is also the subject of our meditation. However, there is a verse of the parable, which for long time was impenetrable for us: “Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten”. The next verse, which would explain the previous one, is even more obscure: “For to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away”. “Very well, what does it mean?”. Why the master has not given the talent of the unprofitable servant to the one who had received only two, to partially remedy to the initial injustice? Yesterday night, after having one more time racked my brains about that verse, I fell asleep. During the night I woke up and I started to pray to understand: the Holy Spirit came to me and everything became clear. “The talents which we receive – he said to me – are not a personal gift, they need to be traded to achieve the project which was entrusted to you. If someone receives the most talents, it is because he has more work to do. There is no initial injustice to be repaired. That talent left idle is given to the servant who had already ten because he, although having a more challenging task to be carried on, has proven to know how to trade it. The master trusted him”. It is very clear! In fact, those who think that it was unjust to give that talent to the one who had already ten, think in this way because they want to use the talents which they have received for their personal projects, not for the Lord. It would be like if Lisalberta would consider it unjust that it is required to Gianlorenzo, and not to her, to go down into the cellar to take the heavy toolbox.