Parable Of The Talents. Receive Not The Grace Of God In Vain. 16th Sunday. Audio/Video Homily.

Synopsis:Both the epistle and the Gospel story of the parable of the talents express the same basic idea: we must, as the Epistle puts it "receive not the grace of God in vain." The epistle discusses in great detail how we can "trade" with this grace (called talents in the parable).


You can watch this sermon in two parts: Part 1 Part 2

More homilies on the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost are HERE

2 Corinthians 6:1-10 1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

Matthew 25:14-30 14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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1 comment

  1. Father, Bless,

    Fear makes me stupid…stupid, irrational and insane.  That is obviously what happened to the man with one talent.  The man clearly states that he knows what the Master wants and then acts in a manner totally contrary to it. That happens to me, too. 
    I know I cannot take what I have been given and simply try to hang on to it.  I know in the rational part of my brain that even if my buried talent doesn't corrode away in the dirt, isn't stolen by thieves, or  mindlessly forgotten and lost, that my Master will be angry if I don't at least show up with some interest from the bank from it.  But fear makes me stupid.  I don't think things through and I react like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming car–unable to make any rational decision to avoid the deadly disaster that I can see is coming if I do not move.
    It's all metaphor.  God isn't really a harsh, demanding Master–but Reality is.  And the Lord has come to warn us, to teach us and to give us the Grace to avoid the fate of this poor man, panicked into stupid, irrational behavior.  I must constantly pray and seek the perfect Love that casts out fear otherwise I will panic, ignore the warnings of my conscience and of those the Lord sends to teach and help me and begin making stupid, self destructive choices.
    This is not at all to excuse stupid choices.  Dead is dead, whether you panic and stumble, blindly, off the cliff or purposely jump. Excuses don't matter to Reality. But understanding this fear drives me to cling to God "Whenever I am afraid,I will trust in You." Psalms 56:3 NKJV  And this understanding helps me to have compassion on those I see making terrible, stupid and even evil choices, blinded as they are by their fear.  Fear is sin.  It leads to other sins and, like all sin, leads ultimately to death.
    I am not a brave person.  Apart from the Love and Grace of God I will simply panic and stand motionless waiting for disaster to come upon me, I will take what little I have and bury it, in the irrational hope of hanging on to it.  But by clinging to Him, by coming to Him over and over again seeking His mercy, I am given the courage to open my hand and let go of all that He has given me, to go out into the world and take risks.  Not all my trades will bear an immediate return on my investment.  Some may look like terrible mistakes as I watch the value of the stock I purchased go down, down, down.  But it is only when the Master returns that the true value of my investments will be made known, tallied and judged.

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