God is love, St. John proclaims. Love, love, love … This is reported by St. John as the very nature of God, repeated as the theme of the Gospel, reiterated by His apostles and saints and required of us. The greatest commandment from the God Who is love is for us to love. We have a great capacity to love, and to do it would be a blessing for those we love and for us–for all the world. Imagine … if we really set out to fulfill the two great commandments each day and in all ways. The results would be worthy of the praise of God. Therefore, in the parable of the talents given to the servants of the Lord, maybe we should consider that one of the talents that God gives us is the capacity, necessity and opportunity to love; and when we block love, we are burying a very important gift of God.
Anxiety, guilt, and looming, intrusive thoughts steal away our freedom and our capacity to love. That is why we should guard against these states. One spiritual father taught that the guilt that gnaws and incapacitates is a sin. It is different from guilt that leads to reflection, sorrow and repentance, which is healthy. It is a partial truth mixed with lies and bearing corrupt fruit. Truth bears fruit that witnesses to the good seed and its progenitor.
We Christians are a people given talents. We are loaded with potential, possibility, and ability buried as it were under a mound of egocentricity. In the feast of the Baptist we realize that we must decrease so the Lord, the fullness of man and God, might increase. What a wonderful thought. As Christians we are not seeking self annihilation but self purification, self awakening and self fulfilling in Christ. This is why our union to and awareness of Him is called a wedding feast, not a death, though we must die to a false concept of ourselves.
The talents are given freely by the Lord and unequally. St. Nicolai Velimirovich said that the Lord purposely created this inequality in His wisdom. There then began a battle: Lucifer sought to overcome this inequality and fell. Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan to be equal with God. Cain wanted equality with Abel.
The talents are distributed unequally but all have value, and the value is in the inner realm. Some say that the five talents are the five senses through which a child experiences life. The two talents are the duality of body and soul, which is the arena of struggle for the spirit to rule over the flesh. This is clear in the youth emerging to adulthood. And the one talent is the unified mature person who is then meant to live out their life in Christ. At this point is the greatest temptation and greatest possible loss. When a man finally matures and then, instead of serving the Lord with strength, gives himself to pleasures, he is then burying the one talent with the excuse the Lord is harsh and is One Who takes where He does not sow.
When a young person is taught how to drive a car, his father, mother or friend teaches him the way to control this vehicle of power. He learns to steer, to brake, to shift gears. After he accomplishes this control, the boy on his own might realize the power of the car. Vrmmm, vrmmmm … He is exhilarated by the discovery of power, which, true, needs to be controlled; but nonetheless something big can happen. We too might discover the power and capabilities within us especially when we realize that circumstances try to shape us but do not determine what we do. We can do more; we can give more. We can love and be creative in almost any situation. This is proven by the lives of the saints. What a pity to bury the greatest talent of God’s image and breath in us. The really hard circumstances are squeezing and calling this gift out of us. The buried talent that should instead be traded and used is our capacity to LOVE, which is indeed a great power because God is love.