Sunday's Old Testament reading is from Proverbs, seen by many as the practical advice part of the Bible. While that view of Proverbs isn’t wrong, it’s not the whole picture. The sayings are practical, but (just like the Gospel) they are also meant to be understood on more than one level.
The Gospel for Sunday is the Parable of the Talents. Jesus’ story uses the talent (an ancient unit of currency, worth about $500,000 in today's dollars) to mark the high value of skills and abilities (talents) that God gives to each of us.
With the way that the story ends, it’s pretty clear that doing nothing with your God-given talents is kind of like listening to an investment advisor whose idea of diversifying your investments involves burying your money in two mason jars instead of just one.
Because the story closes with the what-not-to-do part, it can be easy to miss the what-to-do part. When you hear Sunday’s Gospel, be sure to listen for the what-to-do part in the first half of the story and what it tells us about God’s idea of success.
Readings for Sunday: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/111614.cfm