Pope Benedict XVI
The Talents Are the Truth Who Is Jesus
Jeremiah had said: “The word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. If I say ‘I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,’ there is in my heart as it were a burning fire” (Jer 20:8-9). It seems to me that we must ultimately understand the parable of the fearful servant also from this perspective; he hid his master’s money because he was afraid that he might not be able to give it all back, instead of investing the money, like the other servants, so that it would increase. The “talent” that is given to us, the treasure of the truth, must not be hidden; it must be spent boldly and courageously, so that it will take effect and (to change the metaphor) permeate and renew humanity as leaven. Today we in the West are busy burying the treasure – out of cowardice when faced with the challenge of investing it in this tumultuous period of history, and perhaps thereby losing something (which is sheer lack of faith), and also out of laziness. We bury it, because we ourselves do not want to be illuminated by it, either – because we would like to lead our own lives, untroubled by the burden of this responsibility. But the gift of the knowledge of God, the gift of his love, which looks upon us in the wounded heart of Jesus, should urge us on, so that all the ends of the earth might see the saving power of God (Is 52:10; Ps 98:3).