In today's Gospel reading fro Matthew 25, Jesus tells the parable of the talents. In the story, a man goes off on a journey and gives three of his servants talents. A talent was a coin worth an enormous sum - nearly twenty years' wages for a laborer. To one he gave five talents, to another two and to the third, one. Each was expected to invest and make a return for the master.
The first two doubled their money, but the third buried his and in the end gave it back. The master was furious and said, "And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth."
The third servant allowed fear to paralyze him, and so was dubbed "useless." Interesting to note that he didn't lose the money - he returned what he had been given. This speaks to God's expectations of us. If we fail to use our talents to build up the Kingdom, we render ourselves useless. And the price for being useless is enormous.
Father, help us to use our talents, to not be paralyzed by fear, but to build the Kingdom. Amen.
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