Today on the 16th Sunday of Matthew we hear The Parable of the Talents, taken from the Gospel of Matthew 25:14-30. Perhaps in our Christian lives we have questioned without gaining a satisfactory answer, why do we practice Christian disciplines such as attending Church, prayer, fasting and alms giving? Father Gregory reflects on a teaching of Saint Seraphim of Sarov, that Christian disciplines are a means to an end and that the purpose of the Christian life is to acquire the Holy Spirit. Much like the servants in today’s parable who were given talents, we too have been given a wealth of Grace at our Baptism, a free, totally underserved, unmerited gift which we are to trade with during the course of our lives to reap a profit for Our Lord and gain more of the Holy Spirit. As Orthodox Christians we have received Grace in Baptism and live as servants of God committed to His service. The three servants in the parable were also committed to their master and received talents based on their ability. Two of the servants were faithful and made the effort to trade and earn more talents, which led to these words from their master, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.” The third servant was indifferent about the talent given to him, placing no value on the free gift and did nothing with it without any effort. The measure for each of the servants and for us is on our effort not our ability. The talents given in the parable represent Grace and The Holy Spirit given to us at Baptism. It is an immeasurable free gift given to us so that we may trade with It during our lives acquiring more of the Holy Spirit and with Him gaining an overwhelming sense of warmth, peace and joy.
For further references click Father's sermon notes below.