The following reflection is by Triona Doherty
When you were at school or college, was there that one person who was good at everything, who got As in every subject, was a skilled sportsperson, a gifted musician, and was involved in every activity going? We all know people who seem to be good at anything they turn their hand to. Everything they touch turns to gold.
In the parable in today's Gospel, the skills of the servants really do result in gold! The 'talents' which the servants are given are units of currency - the first two servants double their money, while the third, afraid to take a risk, buries his in the ground. But the point is not the amount of talents given to each. What pleases the master is how the talents are used. The greatest crime is to 'hide your talent in the ground', to fail to use the gift you have been given. This parable is often seen as an exhortation to use our God given talents and to take risks for his sake. God gives talents to every person, and they vary from person to person. However, we eventually have to give an account of these gifts and what we did with them.
The poet John Milton reflected on this parable in his sonnet 'On His Blindness':
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent, which is death to hide,
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He, returning, chide.