Parable of the Talents


I feel that the parable of the talents relies too heavily on the market conditions. For instance, if the first two servants had invested before a market crash, then the one who held on to his only talent would have the most money. Does anyone else see where I am coming from?


In Jesus time there was no stock market, of course. The situation was more like opening a savings account at a bank. When you close the account you get the original amount plus the interest accrued. The man was so lazy that he didn’t even do that!


1.What is the first rule of economics: “All else being equal”

  1. It was a parable, not a specific marketing demand. It teaches a principle.

Rather, apply this parable to the charisms (graces/gifts of the Holy Spirit) we received at our baptism. The purpose of those charisms (gifts/talents) is to build up (increase) the Church of Christ, which is His mystical Body. This building up is to be done when the Master has traveled to a kingdom far away (think: heaven). How do we provide the increase? We trade (use) with our charisms, and draw others into the Church (the increase). Look in Acts 2, how much of a return Peter provided for the reception of his charisms. 3,000 souls. When the Master returns (the Parousia), He will ask each of us to see the increase that He expects from the use of our gifts. He is talking of souls. Will we have any others along with us?

Q. Do you want to be that one who was fearful and kept the talent hidden, only to give it back with no increase?

A. No.


Confitebor_Tibi #1
I feel that the parable of the talents relies too heavily on the market conditions

In the parable of the talents, Jesus lauds the servant who has multiplied talents – “For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Mt 25: 14-30). Christ certainly praised the wise use of the fundamental right of economic initiative and prudence in this parable.

The parable of the Talents “primarily teaches that God’s gifts, of nature and especially of grace, are held in stewardship and must not be allowed to lie idle. They are to be used to further His kingdom. It emerges, secondarily, that the standard of God’s judgment is relative to the opportunities offered: ‘the greater the gifts, the greater the account demanded’ (Gregory the Great).” A Catholic Commentary On Holy Scripture, ed. Dom Bernard Orchard, Thomas Nelson, 1953].

Thus, although “market conditions” feature, by His parable of the Talents Jesus is not implying that anyone should seek wealth first in their lives. He is preaching and rewarding prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, rather than attacking those who accumulate wealth legitimately. He is lambasting the slothful.


Thanks for the helpful responses.


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