I have a classmate from way back who never shared his talents, probably because of his very competitive nature. He was always aiming to get higher scores in examinations than the rest of us, but never cared about teaching or helping especially those who had difficulties catching on. Today, he’s just in a level above entry — when he could have been easily somewhere higher in his organization, if only he is more sensitive to others or have the inclination to teach and share.
Why is it that people keep their talents to themselves?
As we’re in the last week of the Liturgical Year, our Holy Mother Church again reminds us of sharing and not keeping to ourselves what God has given abundantly. The Parable of the Talents is one of the Gospel readings that is most often told especially about the day when we have to give an accounting of how we live our lives.
The third servant in question didn’t try to make more money on the amount he was given, he simply buried it in the ground until his master returned. When it was his turn to tell his master, he 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.’ (Mt. 25: 24-25)
Obviously, he did not like his master. Or he could be envious and resentful. Remember he was only given one talent while the others were given more; five and two, respectively. Did he felt slighted that the others got more? Maybe he was even thinking that he is smarter, brighter, so why was he only given one talent? Of course, we read that they were given “each according to his ability.”
In our case how many times did we not do something or not use our talents, the gifts that God has blessed us with because of the anger, resentment, or jealousy that are within us? How many times did we not help our workmates just because he got a promotion that we thought we deserve more?
Or because we don’t like this person or government, rather than cooperate we simply are going to rant and attack the very situation we hate with more negativity!
How often do we do this? How many times did we say to God, “you’re being unfair and why others are getting more than us?”
These are issues that we have to search deep inside us and look at why, and ask the Lord to transform us and clear the anger, envy and resentment inside us if ever we want to make a difference in the lives of others.
What the Gospel is telling us is to make the best with what we’ve got, regardless of what we have. Whoever is in authority, we’ve got to set aside our feelings and selfishness and do the right thing even when no one is looking. The Champion in us has integrity, because we believe that God always has something good that’ll come out of any situation. Our talents and capacity for goodness can increase by twice, five or tenfold without our even realizing it. Then of course, the greater gift that is forever: the gift of Heaven.
As we prepare for the end times, may we remain steadfast and faithful to our true calling and the very purpose that we’re here for.
“Remain in me as I remain in you, says the Lord. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit.” (Jn. 15: 4a, 5b)