16 November - “Here is my mercy, take it and use it”
The meaning of the parable (Mt 25: 14-30) is very clear. The man of the parable represents Jesus, we are the servants and the talents are the wealth the Lord entrusts to us. What is this wealth? His Word, the Eucharist, faith in the Heavenly Father, His forgiveness, so many things. In short, his most precious goods. This is the wealth that he entrusts to us. Not just to guard it, but to make it grow. While in the common language, the word “talent” refers to a distinct individual talent - for example, in music, in sports, etc. - , in the parable, the talents represent the goods of the Lord, that He entrusts to us so that we make them fruitful. The hole dug in the ground by the “wicked and lazy servant” (v.26) shows the fear of risk that blocks the creativity and fruitfulness of love. Jesus does not ask us to preserve His Grace in a safe. Jesus does not ask us this! He wants us to use it for the benefit of others and that’s how it grows. It’s as if He tells us: “Here is my mercy, my tenderness, my forgiveness: take it and use it.” And what have we done? Who have we “infected” with our faith? How many people have we encouraged with our hope? How much love have we shared with our neighbour? They are questions that do us well to ask.
Any environment, even the most distant and impractical, can become a place where talents can bear fruit. There are no situations or places that are closed to the Christian presence and witness. The witness that Jesus asks us is not closed, its open, it depends on us.
This parable urges us to not hide our faith and our belonging to Christ, to not bury the Word of the Gospel, but to make it circulate in our life, in our relationships, in our concrete situations, as a power that undermines, that purifies, that renews. Likewise forgiveness, which the Lord gives us especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation: let us not close it in ourselves, but rather let it unleash its power, that breaks down those walls that our selfishness has built up, that it makes us take the first steps in relationships that are stuck, to resume dialogue where there is no more communication. Make these talents, these gifts that the Lord has entrusted to us be given to others, so that they grow and bear fruit with our witness. Today, it would be a beautiful gesture if each one of you would open the Gospel at home. The Gospel of St. Matthew 25, 14-30. Read this and meditate it. My talents, my riches, all that God has given to me spiritually, the Word of God; how do I make this grow in others? Or do I just preserve it in a safe?
The Lord does not give everyone the same things and in the same way: He knows us personally and entrusts us with what is right for us; but He has the same, immense trust in us. God trusts us, God has hope in us! And this is the same for everyone. Do not disappoint Him! Do not be fooled by fear, but reciprocate trust with trust! The Virgin Mary embodies this attitude in the most beautiful and fullest way. She received and accepted the greatest gift: Jesus, and in turn has offered Him to humanity with a generous heart. We ask Her to help us to be “good and faithful servants”, to participate “in the joy of our Lord.”
(Pope Francis, 16 November 2014)