"It is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.
Today's parable has an unpleasant tone at first sight. Instead of telling us that everything is a gift of God, it tells us about investments and profits. And worse: the punch-line could come from a director of a multinational company. “To all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.”
That’s how the business world operates. How could this have anything to do with the world of the spirit? The business world is only about ‘outer things’ – property – but the spiritual world has to include also ‘inner things’. How could the same rules apply?
To say that the spiritual world is all ‘gift’ is to say the truth. But to say no more would be to make it a purely passive thing. In reality we know that nothing deep or ‘inner’ can ever be given to us without our effort. You would love to give your knowledge of, say, a foreign language to someone you love, but it cannot be done without their labour. How much more your understanding, your wisdom, your experience? Even God's gifts, poured out without measure, cannot really become mine unless I interiorise them myself. Struggle is part of the spiritual life, even though it remains true that everything is gift. And it is a fact of experience (not a policy statement of a company) that the more I have the more I will receive. The more I know the more I am capable of knowing; the more I love the more I am capable of loving; the more I pray the more I am able to pray…. And likewise the less.
|Back to calendar|