With any of the parables, we look for the central message. It does not help to seek meaning in all the little details – that is not how the Jews would read them or how Jesus intended it. He would want to convey one main lesson, as in the parable of the talents. Here you have three men with different gifts. A talent was originally a coin or a weight, but through this parable it acquired the general meaning of a gift or an aptitude with which each of us is endowed. Some have more gifts than others – that is obvious. People have different temperaments, some more optimistic than others, a more or less attractive personality, more or less brains, a stronger or sicklier body, more or less beautiful hair, skin, face, body, and so on. Jesus is saying: Use everything you are given. Live your life to the full. Do not hide away the gifts the Lord gave you, whether of personality or of brains or whatever. The biggest tragedy is a life unlived. The fact that you are endowed in a different way from your brother or sister or parents or friends, does not mean that you should hide away the abilities and personality you have. Use it to the full for other people. The central message is the real explanation: use everything you are given.
Entry currently called from SSM.