Our Lord’s parable in today’s Gospel is one of three in Chapter Twenty-five of Matthew’s Gospel, and we should see all three together. They deal with the sum of criteria by which each of us will be judged at the end of our days, we may also use them to get a fix on how we now stand with God.
The first of the parables is the one about the five foolish and the five wise virgins. Their having, or not having, oil in their lamps stand for our being or not being in the state of Sanctifying Grace. Just as they had to have oil in their lamps to enter the wedding feast, so we need to have Sanctifying Grace to enter heaven.
Jumping to the third of the parables, that is the one in which the Son of Man, following the example of a shepherd separating the sheep from goats, divides those who helped the needy from those who did not.
Returning to today’s parable, the second one in Matthew Chapter Twenty-five, this is the parable in which a king entrusted talents to three different servants before he went off on a lengthy journey. On his return he asked for an accounting on how the three used their talents. In Roman times a talent was a gold coin worth thousands. Webster’s Dictionary tells us that our word talent, describing a person’s inborn abilities, comes from this parable.
What Our Lord is telling us is that at the end of our lives he will be judged not only on possessing Sanctifying Grace, and on giving help to those in need, but we will also be judged on what development we have made of our God-given gifts.
There is something very personal about our individual talents. Although each of us is made in God’s image and likeness, each of us is like him in a way that no one else is. Your personality is a set of potentials you are born with to be like God in your unique way. By developing all your abilities completely your personality can expand to where it can mirror its special facet of God to the world.