Lectionary musings ...
Matthew 25.14-30 ... hmmm ... the business of the talents ... and business it is ... then or now, it's about work and profits ... sure ... that's what life is all about ... for those who have, and those who don't. I don't know of any other kind of life, other than a monastic vocation, which, however, relies upon the work and beneficence of others, even as the monks themselves must labor in the fields and barns and workshops of their monastery.
One commentator suggested that the original story made the third man the hero, because he refused to participate in the system. Well, that may be ... but in looking at Matthew 25, thinking a bit about what's intended in the gospel, I read and re-read the story, looking carefully at the third man.
Who was afraid.
So, maybe this question: Was his fear accurate?
Was his understanding of the "master" true?
The other two had no difficulty whatsoever in doing something good ... they gave it their best shot, whereas the third man was crippled with fear, and hid the talent, and in so doing, failed both himself and the master, not to mention the entire household.
Without getting all psychological here, I wonder how many folks misperceive God, and how many of god's preachers offer the misconception, compelling people to bury what's given to them, filling them with a fear of judgment, and so they never really use what's been given to them, thus denying themselves the adventure of life, denying the household of their labor, and the master of a fair return.
It doesn't help to micromanage a parable, looking for meaning in every tad and bit ... but if this parable touches upon the crippling power of fear, then it's a painful reminder that those who are trapped in it, for whatever reason, will lose everything. Fear is a terrible thing, and distorts reality, and closes doors, and life gets buried before the end.