Dribbling from the mouth is common in the very young and the very old. Dribbling on the soccer-field makes up 90% of the game, and seems to be as instinctual and as effortless as the disgusting habit of infants and patients in a geriatric ward. The former form of dribbling requires no talent or training. Rinaldo and his ilk have spent their lives perfecting their gift.
The distribution of physical and intellectual prowess is notoriously uneven, if not unfair. The gamut runs from the handicapped through the also-rans to champions and pure genius. Within the same family, some seem to have been dealt a lousy hand while others discover they have four aces. Such inequality is a challenge for all of us. Many wisely accept the status quo and make the most of the talents they have. Others, even the exceptionally gifted, sometimes waste their talent, while others again succeed in overcoming their handicaps, thereby winning the admiration of all but the terminally jealous.
Jesus could not resist sharing His parable of wasted talents, though the talents in question were in the form of hard cash. It is even more tragic when the talents are immaterial and far more precious. Jesus would be unhappy to hear me apply His parable to many of His own followers. Some of them, including former colleagues and priestly confreres of mine, far more intellectually gifted than I, spent their whole lives without questioning and rejecting the myths and superstitions of the religion He founded. My talents may be few, but I’m glad I used them to discover how ridiculous religions are, and how pitiful it is that intelligent, talented people fail to recognize their absurdity.