Across the centuries many have hailed
the Parable of the Talents, so called,
as a divine endorsement of commercial enterprise.
The worshippers at mammon’s various temples:
the merchant bankers,
the stock brokers,
the importers, the exporters,
the buyers and traders,
the investors and actuaries;
must all love this yarn.
Central to the tale is buying and selling
and making a profit,
all of which become the means
by which the nerve, ingenuity and commitment
of three servants are tested by their master.
Sits a bit awkwardly, though,
with the “eye of a needle” line delivered elsewhere;
among the teacher’s more usual misgivings
about riches and possessions.
Unique among the yarns
recounted by the master story-teller,
this one assesses fruitfulness
in terms of astuteness and monetary gain;
more commonly it is gauged by acts of love,
forgiveness and peace-making.