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The WORD. The TRUTH.

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Today’s gospel (Mt 25:14-30) is the third in a series of parables dealing with the proper attitude to, and behavior in, the face of the coming Son of Man with the theme of judgment. Called the parable of the talents (cf Lk 19:11-27; Mk 4:25), a typical wealthy landowner is about to go on a journey and so entrusts his possessions to his three slaves (vv14f).
“talantov” ( τάλαντον ), refers to the largest unit of currency known at the time. Its value is estimated at around 5,000 to 6,000 denarii, equivalent to the wage of an ordinary worker for fifteen years. Originally a measure of weight the value of which depends on the metal’s worth (gold, silver, or copper), the word “talent” passed into English usage as a synonym for abilities and/or natural endowments, (probably derived from this parable where the two ideas are juxtaposed in v15).
The master’s return “after a long time” (v19) alludes to the unknown hour of the parousia (the “delay” motif found in the preceding parable in 24:48 and 25:5). He rewards the industrious and enterprising spirit of the two servants who had doubled the amount consigned to them. They both enter into the loving presence of their Lord (vv20 – 23). But the third only hides his talent, excusing his lack of action by complaining against his master’s demanding attitude and out of fear (vv24-25). He is consigned to oblivion where there is “wailing and grinding of teeth” (v30), the NT expression for the sorrow and distress of condemnation (8:12; 13:42).
The present form of the parable has allegorical elements, but not to be pressed too far. As a parable the point is clear. As Christians, we are reminded of the day of reckoning. And the best preparation for it is our commitment to our faith by a steady and active growth in virtue and apostolic zeal which will surely be more than amply rewarded. Each one is given responsibility according to ability. Those who do nothing with this gift will lose whatever they have in final separation from God’s reign. May we all make good use of what God has given us, living the virtue of industry rather than idleness in our Christian life. Amen.
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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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