As they were listening to this, he went on to tell a parable, because he was near Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. So he said, “A nobleman went to a distant country to get royal power for himself and then return. He summoned ten of his slaves, and gave them ten pounds, and said to them, ‘Do business with these until I come back.’ But the citizens of his country hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to rule over us.’ When he returned, having received royal power, he ordered these slaves, to whom he had given the money, to be summoned so that he might find out what they had gained by trading. The first came forward and said, ‘Lord, your pound has made ten more pounds.’ He said to him, ‘Well done, good slave! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.’ Then the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your pound has made five pounds.’ He said to him, ‘And you, rule over five cities.’ Then the other came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your pound. I wrapped it up in a piece of cloth, for I was afraid of you, because you are a harsh man; you take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked slave! You knew, did you, that I was a harsh man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money into the bank? Then when I returned, I could have collected it with interest.’ He said to the bystanders, ‘Take the pound from him and give it to the one who has ten pounds.’ (And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten pounds!’) ‘I tell you, to all those who have, more will be given; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine who did not want me to be king over them—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence.’
We all have talents, some are hidden, some are well known to us, and others we discover along the way…before I became a parent, I was not sure that I could handle the responsibilities of raising a child; then shortly after my daughter was born, I wound up being the primary care-giver, and realized that I had some skills at this whole parenting thing, but I was still always glad when her mother came home to help with the child raising tasks. Then, I found myself divorced and raising my daughter (more or less) on my own!
It is when I became a single father that I discovered some of my hidden talents, and when I brought them out of hiding, I was able to develop these gifts to help me to become a better father. I learned that I had much more patience than I ever imagined. I also discovered a talent for listening, for making up stories on the spur of the moment (as my imagination was tested through hours of play-time), and I learned to be able to admit when I was wrong, and to apologize when needed, and forgive when it was appropriate.
One talent that I learned was the ability to ask for help when I needed it; to reach out to other parents (of all sorts) and ask for help, and in the course of this, I was able to discover that I had a talent for helping others as well!
As Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel lesson, while we are all given talents in life, it is important for us to share these talents with each other…that is the only way they will grow; kinda like our faith: it only grows stronger the more we use it and share it with each other!
Of course we share these talents and our faith with our children, who actually pay attention to what we do, and how we act and react to challenges in our lives and theirs…even when they do not seem to be watching us, they are. Our gifts and talents grow as we share them with our children, and with the other people in our lives; and the more we share, the more we find that we are learning as well…as we learn from all those around us.
When we share our talents with each other, all of our lives are improved: we gain new skills for parenting, our children gain some much needed wisdom, and learn to share themselves, and we are all reminded that we are not alone as we face the challenges of life in single parent families…together.
Let us Pray
God, thank you for the talents you have given us! Please help us to share these talents with our children and with each other, so that they may grow! Let us remember that hidden talents are of no good to anyone, as it is only when our talents are uncovered and used that they become truly valuable tools, which can help us in the face of any challenge.