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Friends, today’s Gospel is the parable of the talents. I want to share the interpretation of Fr. Robert Schoenstene, the best I’ve ever heard. He says that in ancient times a single talent might represent as much as fifty pounds of silver or gold.

This heaviness would have brought to the mind of a Jewish reader the heaviest weight of all, the kabod of Yahweh. The kabod was to be found in the temple, resting upon the mercy seat within the Holy of Holies. Therefore, what was heaviest of all was the mercy of God, which abided in infinite abundance in the temple. 

So the talents are a share in the mercy of God, a participation in the weightiness of the divine love. But since mercy is always directed to the other, these “talents” are designed to be shared. They will increase precisely in the measure that they are given away.

Buried in the ground, hugged tightly to oneself, such a talent necessarily evanesces. And this is why the master’s seemingly harsh words should only be read as an expression of spiritual physics: the divine mercy will grow in you only inasmuch as you give it to others.