A bell is no bell till you ring it, a song is no song till you sing it, love wasn’t put in the heart to stay, love isn’t love till it’s given away.
This little saying that we have all heard many times, teaches us an important lesson. Love is not something deep in our hearts that is simply meant to bring us comfort and delight. It is a powerful force that seeks expression. To survive and "really delight us", it must be given to others. Love stays alive and grows by being passed on to another.
God’s love is like the waters in a mighty river. As it enters our hearts, if we build a dam and try to keep it for our own pleasure, then it stops flowing and become stagnant. This very source of life now becomes a source of death. However, if we give to others what has been given to us, then, not only does the water of love keep flowing, but it is widening and deepening our capacity to hold even more of this precious flow.
In today’s Gospel parable, the servants, who took the gold coin and kept it in the flow of commerce, were the ones who increased their master’s yield. The one who was turned inward by fear and hid the master’s gold coin in his handkerchief, he was the servant that stopped the increasing flow of value to the master’s estate.
We are all called to be channels of grace, of God’s love. We need to keep the lid off and let God’s love bubble forth in all directions. We are called to keep the fizz in life by expressing and giving to others what the Lord has so graciously given to us. The more we give away what God has given to us, we more abundantly will God pour his goodness upon us.
Fr. Blaise Czaja, C.P. gives parish missions and retreats. He is a member of the Passionist Community in Houston, Texas.