The Gospel at Mass today contains the "Parable of the Talents."
In the parable, the term "talents" is used to represent an amount of money. But, it may not be a bad idea, when considering how to apply to today's Gospel, to substitute our modern use of the word "talents."
It's tempting to try to sketch out of the passage some thinking of Christ on investing money wisely -- especially in light of this year's global financial crisis. But, it is probably better to simply say that this parable is calling us to grow the gifts and skills that God has given us -- and not bury them.
From Matthew Chapter 25:
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one -- to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master's money.
After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents. See, I have made five more.’
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.’
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, 'Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.' His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master's joy.’
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and 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.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
'Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"
The image above (a stained-glass window showing the master and his three servants) is used today by both Deacon Greg and A Concord Pastor to illustrate their homilies on this Gospel.
And, Mike Hayes considers this Gospel in the context of his high school reunion over at Googling God.