In the story today Jesus talks about a man, a master, who gives his servants a lot of money. To one man he gives 5 gold coins. [To see the words of today’s gospel, click here.] The word for coin is “talents”; it did not mean talents; it meant money, a lot of money. He gave to one 5 gold coins, to another 2, to a third 1. He told them to use the money well. Then the master left. It shows he trusted them very much; he gave them very much money. The first one we read about today in the gospel; he did well; he doubled the money; he earned 10 gold coins. The master was very proud of him and praised him, “You have done good work; come, share your master’s joy.”
What does the story mean? The master is the Lord God; he has given all of us special abilities, talents. Did he give us money? Maybe not much money. But talents? Yes, the Lord has given us much talent. God has trusted you with so much, given you much good, a good mind, good health, a good heart for kindness. And he has given you special work to do. The Lord knows you, knows your name. There are eight billion people in the world. You wonder, “God knows my name?” Yes, God knows your name. God is very smart. He has a wonderful computer up in heaven; he knows everybody, your name, my name, all of our names. He knows your talents; he cares for you, respects you, wants the best for you, wants you to be happy. And God has given you special work to do. What work? I do not know. Who knows? God knows. And you know too.
Remember you are a unique person. There is another person in the world exactly the same as you right now? No. Look back a long time in the past, was there another person exactly like you? No! In the future will there be another person exactly like you? No! You are unique, special right now. And God has chooses you to do special work. God wants you to accept the responsibility God has given you and do it as well as you can.
But there is a problem, a danger; the problem is always comparing myself with another person. I am no good; I am not like that person. I am not good like that person. Look at that other person; you think, “That person is very intelligent, more intelligent than I am. It means I cannot do anything?” Wrong! Or look at that other person there; that person is rich with more money than I have. It means I cannot do anything? Wrong! That person is more attractive, more handsome than me; it means I cannot do anything? Wrong! That person communicates better than me; it means I cannot do anything? Wrong! That person cannot do what you can do. That person cannot copy you; you have a special work God gives you to do, special work you have to do. What is the special work? In general, your work is spreading God’s love, spreading kindness, spreading forgiveness, spreading hope to others, spreading joy to others. Accept your responsibility; God gives it to you, and only you can do it. You are unique. Another person is exactly like you? No. In exactly the same situation? No. With exactly the same talents? No. There is no other person exactly like you. God wants you to do your best, doing God’s work. You have to ask God, “What do you want me to do?” Maybe you think, “I am too old or too crippled or too sick.” Wrong! You can do something special. What? Many things. Be friends with another person. Talk to another person. Listen to another person. Always easy to listen to another person, always complaining? Not always easy. No matter, listen. That other person maybe needs another person to pay attention. Your special talent may be listening to another person. Do your best always. God will be very satisfied with your best work.
Let me end with a story. A king set up a beautiful garden with many different trees, flowers, plants growing all over. One day the king went into his garden and looked around. Everything in the garden seemed to be sick, almost dying. Why? He went to a tree, an oak tree. He asked, “What is wrong? You seem sick, dying, Why?” The oak tree said, “I am not like that pine tree. My leaves fall off every year. That pine tree stays green all the time even in the winter.” He went over to the pine tree and asked, “What is wrong with you? You look sick, like you are dying. Why?” “Because I can not grow grapes like that vine over there.” He asked the vine, “What is wrong with you?” “I cannot grow beautiful flowers, like those bright beautiful flowers over there.” The king walked around more and saw they were all weak, dying. Then he walked into a corner of the garden. There he saw a small little yellow flower, a daisy; it was tall, straight, bright yellow. The king asked, “Why are you different from all the others. You are bright, strong, different, Why?” The flower answered, “You are the king, and you put me here for a special reason. You wanted me to be the best little yellow flower I can be. So I am trying to be the best I can be.”
That is true for all of us. God put us here on this earth to do some special work, what? To do the best you can do, be the best you can be. God gives you something to do; only you can do it. Use your talent. What is your talent? Do good in this world. Make this world a little bit better than before. Then you are doing God’s will and you make God very happy..