A bight yellow watering can watering chalkboard flowers, signifying growing our talents for this Parable of the Talents - Lesson Plan, Discussion, and Reflection Questions

About This Lesson Plan on The Parable of the Talents

This lesson plan and reflection on the Parable of the Talents will help youth consider how they use their gifts and talents to grow the Kingdom of God.

Opening Activity for Reflection on the Parable of the Talents

(As an alternate opening or if you have more time, you can play Talent Comm)

Start by giving everyone a piece of paper. Have the youth spread out and spend some time – maybe 5 minutes – writing down all of their talents. This can be done as a gathering activity while everyone arrives. Encourage them to really dig deep and come up with as many talents as they can.

We all have a lot of talents. Would anyone like to share some of the talents they wrote down.

Give the teens a few minutes to share what they wrote.

It is important to understand that these talents are not something we earned. Our special characteristics are gifts from God. And while we can become more skilled at some things like a sport or a subject in class through practice and study, the desire and ability to do these things have been bestowed on us by our loving Father.

Scripture Reading for the Parable of the Talents

We also have other gifts in our lives, which are not part of our own characteristics, but are related to the circumstances we find ourselves in. These might include our friends, family, where we go to school, something special about our neighborhood, and more.

Matthew 25:14-30 or Matthew 25:14-15, 19-21 (The parable of the talents) – the Gospel Reading for the 33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year A

Jesus told his disciples this parable: “A man going on a journey called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them. To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one – to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.

[Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them, and made another five. Likewise, the one who received two made another two. But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground and buried his master’s money.]

“After a long time the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them. The one who had received five talents came forward bringing the additional five. He said, ‘Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.’

His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

[Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said, ‘Master, you gave me two talents. See, I have made two more.’

His master said to him, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. Since you were faithful in small matters, I will give you great responsibilities. Come, share your master’s joy.’

Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter; so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’

His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter? Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?

Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. For to everyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.’”]

Matthew 25:14-30 or Matthew 25:14-15, 19-21

Discussion for the Parable of the Talents Lesson Plan

It is interesting that this parable uses the word “talent”. In this context a talent is not something a person is good at. It is an amount of money. And it is not a small amount of money. A talent would have been about 15 years wages. So the master in this parable is entrusting his servants with something of value.

The parable makes it clear that God expects us to use the gifts and talents we have been entrusted with to increase the Kingdom of God. We are not to ignore them or just use them for ourselves. God expects a return on his investment.

  • What are some ways you can use your gifts and talents to serve God?
  • Do you feel like some of your gifts are difficult to use in the service of God?
  • Have you ever asked God why you were given a particular gift?

If you find it difficult to see how to use your gifts, then prayer and discernment might help. God has chosen our characteristics especially for us. If our gifts are from God, then they will help us build His Kingdom and grow closer to Him.

Consider this quote from St. Ignatius of Loyola:

God who loves us creates us and wants to share life with us forever. Our love response takes shape in our praise and honor and service of the God of our life.

All the things in this world are also created because of God’s love and they become a context of gifts, presented to us so that we can know God more easily and make a return of love more readily….

Our only desire and our one choice should be this: I want and I choose what better leads to God’s deepening life in me.

The First Principle and Foundation from the Spiritual Exercises

Small Group Reflection Questions for the Parable of the Talents Lesson Plan

  • So if you have something in your life which you consider a gift or talent, but it seems to lead you away from God, what does that tell you?
  • Do you think it can be difficult to determine what your gifts really are?
  • How can you cultivate something in your life which is a gift or talent?

Sometimes others can see gifts in us which we cannot see. We are going to spend some time helping each other see their gifts. For each person, you will tell them something which is special, which God has given to use as a gift in His service.

Do an affirmation exercise. Affirmation bracelets would work here, or you can do your own.

After the exercise, ask a few followup questions:

  • Was anyone surprised by a gift that somebody else saw in you?
  • Would you like to tell about a gift that surprised you?

Challenge for the Parable of the Talents Lesson Plan

This week, choose one of your gifts and spend some time praying about how you can use that gift in God’s service.

Prayer for the Parable of the Talents Lesson Plan

Close by offering prayer intentions and praying the Suscipe (Take Lord Receive).

Talent Comm – A Talent Game

Talent Comm is a talent game which lets players interact based on their personal gifts for communication. Some people communicate through words, others through pictures, and others through actions.

Canvas and Clay

This song goes well with this theme.






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