Looking ahead to the long Independence Day weekend, I was struck by the seeming coincidence of a verse in last Sunday’s Second Reading that focused on freedom:
For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.
But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement,
namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
This gift of freedom – freedom to choose right or wrong, freedom to overcome sin, freedom to look ahead to eternal life – is like the gift of the talents in Matthew 25. In that parable, a man gives each of his servants a different amount of money, or talents: one servant receives five, another two, and the third receives one.
The first two servants invest the money that was given to them and double it, earning their master’s praise—and a promotion—upon his return. But the third servant buries his talent to keep it safe, and presents it to the master when he returns home—earning a harsh rebuke, and losing the talent he had believed to be safeguarding.
Think of the freedom God has given you like the money these servants received in the parable—or like the talents, the gifts, with which you are endowed. The point is not to hoard or safeguard them, but to invest them.
We must take the great gifts God has given us and give them away again and again to clothe the naked, to feed the hungry, to visit the lonely, to care for creation, to share the Good News—to do His work in the world. To be the hands and feet of Christ.
In using these gifts, we do not deplete or diminish them, but instead multiply them, doing far more good than if we had hidden them away and treasured them privately.
There is much need in our world today for us to love one another. How will you use your gift of freedom, and your talents, to multiply the good God has given you?