St. Theophan the Recluse: Unequal Talents and Equal Justice
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Sunday, October 2 (September 19), 2022 : 16th Sunday after Pentecost
2Cor. 6:1-10; Mt. 25:14-30

The Parable of Talents [Mt. 25:14-30] suggests that our entire lifetime can be compared to a marketplace.  Thus, we ought to hurry, to use this time in the most profitable manner, just like any seller in a market.  No matter what kind of merchandise he might have brought to the marketplace, how simple and lowly it is, be it, for instance, bast shoes or something like that, he does not just sit and wait, but runs around to find buyers, to sell his goods and use the money for purchasing necessary wares for himself.

Having received our life from God, we cannot possibly claim that we have not received from Him at least one talent: everyone has something to trade and gain profit from.  Don’t try to keep up with others, don’t count how much someone else has made: rather watch carefully after yourself, figure out what you have, what you can get for this, ─ and then follow up on your plan without faltering.  At the Last Judgment we will not be held accountable for gaining ten talents if we had only one to begin with; we will not be blamed for making only one talent out of the one which we have had.  Regardless of the amount ─ one talent, one half of one talent, or one tenth of one talent ─ the judgment will be according to how much we have made, not how much we had been given.

Lowly origin, material need, poor education, ─ none of these will matter if such conditions God ordained for your life.   But if you had been given hands to work and feet to walk, ─ tell Me, the Judge will say, what have you gained by them?  You had the tongue, ─ what profit has it brought?  Thus, all inequalities of our earthly lives get equalized at the Last Judgment.

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