Vatican City (AsiaNews) - An appeal to witness, to "commerce," by sharing and distributing the gifts that Christ has given to us: this is, according to Benedict XVI, the meaning of the parable of the talents (Mt. 25:14-30), which he commented on in the brief reflection before the Angelus, together with the faithful in St. Peter's Square. "Yes," the pope said, "that which Christ has given us is multiplied by giving it away! It is a treasure made to be spent, invested, shared with all, as taught to us by that great administrator of the talents of Jesus who is the apostle Paul."
The pontiff explained that the talent "was an ancient Roman coin, of great value." Precisely because of the popularity of this parable, the "talent" has become synonymous with "personal capacity, which each one is called upon to develop." But the pontiff clarifies: the parable talks about gifts that "the master" gives to his servants. "For this reason," he continues, "these gifts, in addition to their natural qualities, represent the riches that the Lord Jesus has left us as an inheritance, so that we might make them bear fruit: his Word, deposited in the holy Gospels; Baptism, which renews us in the Holy Spirit; the prayer - the 'Our Father' - that lifts us up to God as sons united in the Son; his forgiveness, which he has commanded be brought to all; the sacrament of his immolated Body and his Blood poured out. In a word: the Kingdom of God, which is He himself, present and living in our midst."
"Today's parable," he continued, "insists upon the interior attitude with which this gift is to be received and valued. The wrong attitude is that of fear: the servant who is afraid of his master and his return hides the coin in the ground, and it bears no fruit. This happens, for example, to those who having received Baptism, Communion, and Confirmation hide these gifts beneath a blanket of prejudices, beneath a false image of God that paralyzes faith and works, betraying the expectations of the Lord. But the parable puts greater emphasis on the good fruits borne by the disciples who, happy over the gift they have received, have not kept this hidden out of fear and jealousy, but have made it bear fruit by sharing it, imparting it."
Benedict XVI does not forget that the parable is also a sign of a cultural change that the faith of Christians carries within history, which is an active and transformative mentality: "The teaching of the Gospel," he said, "has also had an effect on the historical-social level, promoting an active and enterprising mentality in Christian populations. But the central message concerns the spirit of responsibility toward God and toward humanity. This attitude is perfectly embodied by the heart of the Virgin Mary, who, receiving the most precious of gifts, Jesus himself, offered him to the world with immense love."
After the Marian prayer, Benedict recalled that next November 21, the feast of the presentation of Mary at the Temple, will be the commemoration of the day "Pro Orantibus," on which the entire Church recalls the people dedicated to prayer in cloister. "Let us thank the Lord," the pope said, "for the sisters and brothers who have embraced this mission, dedicating themselves entirely to prayer and living on what they receive from Providence. Let us pray in turn for them, and for new vocations, and commit ourselves to supporting the monasteries in their material needs. Dear sisters and dear brothers, their presence in the Church and in the world is indispensable. I am close to you, and I bless you with great affection!