At first glance the master who goes abroad seems far removed from the God who feeds his people. But it is important to remember that although the master is abroad the servants are still his servants and the talents he gives them are his talents. All that they do will be done in his name and under his authority. He may be absent but he has put his trust in these servants and he asks them to return this trust by trusting in him; that he will reward them for the work they have done on his behalf.
The first two servants have secure relationships with their master. He has nurtured them and they return his trust by trusting in his goodness to them. The talents they earn do not make them independent of him, but enable them to enter more fully into his happiness. There is a virtuous circle of love and trust, such that the more that they have the more they will be given.
The third servant acts as if he has no relationship with his master. When confronted by the master he makes the excuse that he was afraid and so hid the master’s talent. But if he was truly afraid he would have invested his master’s money rather than hiding it. He accuses the master of being a hard man, but the master sees through this excuse and turns it back on him. A servant who is afraid of his master is at least in some kind of relationship with the master, and a good master will seek to overcome this servile fear by turning it into a loving filial respect. The problem with the third servant is that in his own mind he has no relationship with the master and wants to keep it that way, and so the master confirms his isolation, consigning him to the dark.
While living in this world these is always hope and salvation. We know that God does not give up or abandon those who do their best to ignore or reject Him. It is into the darkness of such minds and hearts that God sends His eternal Word, Jesus Christ, the light who shines in the darkness.
From the cross our Lord reaches out to those who dwell in the darkness of sin and evil. Through His broken body He binds up those who are lost and wounded, gently nurturing those who allow Him to heal their wounded isolation, inviting them to come and share in their master’s joy. And we too are called to make it as easy as possible for our Lord to help with His grace those who are in darkness and wounded by sin and evil.