Suddenly there were talent shows one after another, first from foreign television.  And when it landed in our country, we had Pinoy Idol, Pilipinas  Got Talent, Talentadong Pinoy, The Voice of the Philippines and Showtime.  Not only Filipinos, but people around the world, went on a talent craze, a talent infection.

The gospel speaks of talents.  But talent here does not mean show business prowess like dancing and acting.  Talent refers to the good things we receive from the Lord.  God distributes talents; he distributes varied gifts to all his children.  There are several lessons we need to remember about talents.

First, we do not receive the same or equal talents.  The Lord says, the master distributed talents, “according to the ability of each” person.  Nobody has a monopoly on all talents. Susan Boyle was booed in Britain when she appeared as a lousy, unappealing country girl.  But when she belted out her tunes, she brought the house down and went home a champion. Her beauty was not external but coming from her deeper self.

Therefore the Lord is telling us not to envy others.  We must stop comparing ourselves with others.  Instead, we must look into our selves and thank God for what good thing we find within us.

Second, if you discover your talent, your gift, then you must cultivate it. Talents are different from natural endowments.  These latter are a given and they also pass away.  But talents are gifts that can increase and grow and improve.  Some people feel lucky to have natural gifts but forget to focus on their  real talents.

A handsome boy in our high school was the crush of all the girls.  His good lucks and natural charm made the girls swarm around him.  Some time ago I found him still in our old hometown, no longer handsome but old and untidy.  Hanging out with girls on dates, he did not finish his studies.  Now he takes on any menial job he finds.

So do not rely on your looks alone, the face, figure or the muscles, as is the fad today.  Find your real talents and do everything to improve them.

Lastly, the Lord gives a clear reason why we need to enhance our talents.  There is a time of reckoning for the gifts we receive. God will confront us on how we applied our talents. Have we used them to glorify the Lord and assist our neighbor? For the Lord, it is not acceptable to be intelligent but unwilling to share your knowledge, skilled but lazy in our work, rich but lacking in generosity.

The good news is that we all have gifts from the Lord.  Let us use them to improve our lives and those of others.  Let us return the glory to the Lord.