Thursday, April 21, 2016

Talents And Their Meaning

In Korea the word talent is mostly used for TV  personalities. But it's also used for vocalists, comedians, master of ceremonies, actresses and actors. A word used for performers of all types. An article in a diocesan bulletin mentions that it was first used at the inauguration of the Korean Broadcasting System back in 1961.

The word comes from talanton a Greek word meaning a weighing scale, and gradually transferred to what was on the scale, and to the most precious thing on the scale. In Roman and Jewish cultures it became understood as a kind of currency.  In the Jewish culture a denarius was the daily wage of a worker. In the time of Jesus one talent was 6,000 denarii. It was a lot of money and heavy.

The meaning we have today comes in great measure from the parable in Matthew's Gospel 25:14-30. A land owner goes on a long journey and gives his servants bags of money according to their ability. One person gets 5 bags another 2 and and another 1. The  person with five bags earns another five, and the one with two,  another two but the one with one bag is fearful and buries the bag and returns it to the owner. He was not happy with what was done, and takes his bag and gives it to the one who has five.

It  is a parable and no need to examine every point made but the message is clear, Jesus wants us to use what we have been given and see it increased and the way this is done is to use what we have been given. In our culture we think gifts of appearance, intelligence, personality, and many other gifts are means of benefiting ourselves on the road to success, and with little concern how they are useful for the common good. 

God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts which each member is to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity. Given by the Holy Spirit, who apportions to each member as He wills, the gifts provide all abilities and ministries needed by the church to fulfill its divinely ordained mission.

"As generous distributors of God's  manifold grace, put your gifts at the service on one another, each in the measure he has received" (1 peter 4:10).