We come into the world like unpolished stones that must be polished to where we come to resemble God.


Today’s reading from Luke’s Gospel closely resembles a similar passage in Matthew’s Gospel. They both begin the story the same way, with Luke writing, “A nobleman went off to a distant country to obtain a kingship.”

Our Lord’s parable is based on the biography of Herod the Great. His family had been half-Jewish officials in Idumea, south of the Dead Sea. When he was twenty-six he travelled to Rome to worm his way into power, and at thirty-four he returned, having succeeded in being appointed King of the Jews. 

Matthew’s account of this story specifies those coins as having been gold “Talents.” It is from this story that our English word talent comes to signify a gift of nature one is born with. (If you check it in Webster you will find that our use of the word is derived from this story in Matthew, Chapter Twenty-Five.)

Matthew’s Chapter Twenty-Five is a Bible passage that is of immense importance to us. It is three parables which Jesus told to give a clear picture of how at the end he will judge us to have succeeded or failed with our lives. The first and the third criteria are ones that readily come to mind.   

The first criteria by which we will be judged will be on whether or not we have “oil” for our lamps, Which means, we must have grace, or die in the state of grace.

The third criteria by which we will be judged will be on whether or not we tended to the cries of those in need. We must be among the sheep on Our Lord’s right not with the goats on his left.

The second major criteria upon which we will be judged is that of whether we have made good use of our natural gifts.

Let me enlarge on that a little. Although each of us is created in God’s image and likeness, we are nevertheless quite different from one another. The reason for that is that each of us is created mirroring a different facet of God. Each if us is like him in an individual way.

That is not quite true. You and I do not all that much resemble God. It is better for us to say that each of us has an unique potential for being like God in an individual way.

Each of us is born as a nondescript unpolished stone. Each of us is born with an allotment of talents to work with. If we have done the best with our talents, at the end each of us will be seen to  resemble God in a unique way. And he will say, ”Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

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