To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–to each according to his ability. (Matthew 25:15)
“I am pretty sure you are the one with five talents,” my sister-in-law said to me, “With four kids and all, and I always thought Jesus should have been a little easier on the one who just buried his talent. At least he did not lose it!”
She continued, “Sometimes those people with one talent are simply doing the best they can.” My sister-in-law, who used to work with criminal youth, now works with homeless men struggling with drug addiction—those who can just barely put their one talent in the bank.
I pondered her words a minute. In a way, she was right. I have a graduate education, a comfortable home, a husband and children, a great side job, and have never been deprived of the necessities of life. Yet, nearly everyday I am tempted to just bury all these gifts in the ground instead of caring for them according to my ability.
I would love for God to look at me and say,
‘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.' (Matthew 25:21)
But the reality is that I have not lived up to what He is asking me to do. I am often fainthearted and afraid to step up and live out my calling.
He is more likely to look at me and say, “You could have at least put it in the bank!” (from Matthew 25:27)
This is when the weak, lowly, and weary put me to shame. They know that they cannot make it without help, while I go through life thinking it is all up to me. When we are given much, it is easy to forget that it is all a gift. He wants me put my efforts into His bank of mercy and grace. For it is only through Him that my abilities will reap a good return.
Sister, when you are afraid to start a new endeavor or to merely make it through a normal day remember that God is here for the weak and the fainthearted. Put your trust in Him, and you will share in His joy.
Susanna Spencer is the Theological Editor for Blessed is She who studied theology and philosophy in her earlier life. She happily cares for her three adorable little girls, toddler boy, and her dear husband in Saint Paul when not writing and editing. She loves beautiful liturgies, cooking delicious meals, baking amazing sweets, reading good books, raising her children, casually following baseball, and talking to her philosopher husband. You can find out more about her here. She is the Theological Editor of both the Catechism Studies and the Mystery Studies.