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Use Your Talents

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Use Your Talents - St Shenouda Monastery Pimonakhos Articles

A man was building a place he needed. There were many stones in front of him, some big, some small. He saw many he was unable to carry. When he had built it and touched none of them, he thought to himself, ‘Is this not madness? Why did I not carry the light ones?’ I said to them, ‘There are three loads of goods lying next to each other, like the one about which the Lord said, ‘My load is light.’ These are lighter than each other, as is written in the Gospel. For He said, ‘One gave a hundred, one sixty and one thirty.’ Is it not a shame for us if we are able to take the first and the second and neglect the third?

The two parables furthermore are one. There is nothing of God difficult for those who love Him. But I say this, that if we cannot be a virgin, let us keep to marriage, appointed and purified by God. If we are unable to bear the cross and follow the Lord, let us be merciful to the poor as long as we have them. If we are unable to pray without stopping, let us pray according to our ability. If we cannot observe all the laws and righteousness and are unable to do everything that is good, let us act according to our ability and give joy to the Lord through His mercies giving fruit according to our ability so that He may rejoice about us. If we do this, we will not be distant from life but we will be in the kingdom of Christ and all His saints and the just and the ancients who spent their long lives in a state of perfection and truly pleasing God.

See how the Word says to the one who doubled his five talents, ‘Go inside to the joy of your Master.’ He said to the one who doubled his two talents, ‘Go inside to the joy of your Master. For it is the same zeal, even if only the amount entrusted was different.’ See what sort of grace happened to those of the eleventh hour, whose excuse was, ‘Nobody hired us.’ These words are the words of all who repent when they are taught.

They are especially true of pagans: ‘nobody hired us’, that is, ‘ called them’ until their Creator comes, the One who had mercy on them, the One who said, ‘They come from the east and the west, the north and the south and they will lean back and recline in the kingdom of heaven.’ …

We also, what will we say? We have been called not only by the servants of God, but by the Lord of servants. Who will not run to follow the perfume of his ointments, as it is written? The interpretation of these things, who will neglect to do his utmost to forget the one who buried his talents and put the mna in the napkin? God forbid. For we will give a hundredfold. The one of thirty will not be distant from the one of sixty. And the one of sixty will not be distant from the one of hundred in the kingdom of heaven according to the Gospel of the One who called us to it, the philanthropic Saviour God and the Son of God. If He did not refuse to give Himself for us, how much more (will He give us) His goods.’

(Translated by: Anthony Alcock from: www.alinsuciu.com)