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Jesus’ clear explanation of freedom



Recibir todo de Dios

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 11/08/22

In a secular context, this freedom is called "inner freedom," and those who have it live better quality lives.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

“So should it be with you. When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’”

If anyone wanted to have the clearest explanation of what freedom is, this sentence from today’s Gospel is the most eloquent. In fact, the worst servitude we all experience is that of always wanting to be recognized and rewarded for what we do. 

There’s actually nothing wrong with that, but sometimes this need takes over our entire life and ruins it. If the people we love don’t reciprocate it, we get hurt. If the work we do isn’t recognized by someone, then it becomes a source of frustration. If the effort we put into something isn’t rewarded by proper gratification then we become incensed.

The problem is that we have every reason to react this way, but in reality this is just proof that we are not free. Those who are free live everything gratuitously – that is, without expecting anything in return – because they’ve received what gratifies them beforehand. Christians, for example, know that they’re pre-emptively loved and that this love puts them in a position to live everything else without any other demands. In a secular context, this freedom is called “inner freedom,” and those who have it live better quality lives.


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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