After reading today's Gospel, I found it worth researching on the internet. I researched it for two reasons. One, I wanted to compare my understanding of it to see if I was pretty close to popular opinion. Two, I wanted to be able to use that understanding to better my relationship with God.
Here is my understanding of Matthew 25:14-30:
Jesus taught the parable of the talents to prepare His church. Jesus knew that he was going to be crucified and therefore wanted to prepare us for what lies ahead. He also wanted to instruct us on how to live while we wait for his return. On a personal level, he wants us to use what we have been given in this life to do good. That is to say, whatever talents we have been given, large or small we are to seek to increase it's value as it relates to God's teaching. A poor person with little to no talents should seek to increase their position in life and give back to the community as much so as the person who has everything. Talents in this sense does not mean economic wealth but personal wealth, i.e., health, wisdom, knowledge, stewardship, etc.
Today's Catholic church is the foundation of this teaching. As we wait His joyful return, the Catholic church continues in this stewardship. She continues to invest it's "talents" as she awaits the return of its founder and Master, Jesus Christ. Even with all it's flaws, the Catholic church continues today to invest it's talents to spread the Gospel of Christ and to serve others. There is no perfect religious organization. Each has it's flaws because they were created by and for human beings. As Catholics and stewards of Christ, we should use our talents to continue to grow our church so that when she stands in judgment on His return, Christ will give us greater responsibilty to continue our life in heaven.
"Lord, thank you for entrusting me to serve you. I will continue to use my talents to increase it's wealth so that in my time of judgement, you will look favorably on me." - Amen