Wednesday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(Revelation 4:1-11; Luke 19:11-28)
“Freedom isn’t free,” politicians favoring large military budgets say. They are right although perhaps in a way that they do not intend. Incipient freedom may come as a gift from God, but that freedom must be developed through hard work. We might see today’s gospel in this light.
The nobleman gives gold coins to three servants. Those coins may be considered the gift of freedom, the ability to choose among the good. If it seems odd to imply that the three receive different amounts of freedom, it should be remembered that human freedom is always limited. Physical, psychological, and social factors do not necessarily determine what one chooses but can limit her choice. Two of the servants use their coins wisely. They develop the freedom given them through virtue. It becomes easy for them to choose good and reject evil. They would no more swear at a driver who cuts them off on the highway than would Mother Teresa. The third servant never works to develop freedom. Only with difficulty can he choose the good. More likely, he like a bulldog will bark at anyone who comes near.
As Thanksgiving approaches, we might consider thanking God for the gift of freedom. We are not determined beforehand to be saints or sinners, parents or priests for that matter. Rather we can choose along these different paths. We can be the kind of person we want to be by developing virtue. Freedom is a truly wonderful gift.