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The Meaning of the Parable of the Talents


We know what the Lord thinks of servants who bury their talents out of a fear of losing them.

talentsrem Our greatest talent and treasure is our ability to love, and in this enterprise the champion is the greatest risk taker, which means the one most willing to invest himself where the odds appear most against him.

The absolute victor is Jesus Crucified. Love, the overflow of goodness, is, as Thomas Aquinas tells us, "diffusive of itself." It belongs to the very nature of love to flow outward, to gravitate like water to those empty, low, dry places.  If a characteristic of cosmic nature is horror vacui an "abhorrence of the [physical] void," the divine nature abhors the void of love and runs to remedy it ...

To be "in heaven," to have one's dwelling in the heavens, far from connoting a spiritualistic fleeing from the earth, means rather to reside in the fullness of love and to be always engaged in bestowing the benefits of love on others — to pour out one's being into the void in others as if one were sunlight and rain.



LeivaFather Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis. "The Meaning of the Parable of the Talents." excerpt from Fire of Mercy: Heart of the Word: Meditations on the Gospel According to Saint Matthew Vol. 1 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996).

Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Ignatius Press.

This excerpt appeared in Magnificat in November 2014. 

The Author

Leiva-Merikakis Leiva-Merikakis3Erasmo Leiva-Merikakis received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Theology from Emory University. His areas of interest include liturgy and liturgical texts, Georg Trakl's poetry, the Gospel of Matthew, French and German poetry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Greek and Roman classics, and Dante. He is the author of Fire of Mercy: Heart of the Word, a two-volume commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, Love's Sacred Order: The Four Loves Revisited, and The Way of the Disciple. He has also translated numerous works for Ignatius Press.

Copyright © 1996 Ignatius Press
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