Gal 4:22-24, 26-27, 31-5:1 / Lk 11:29-32
We Americans put an extremely high value on our freedom, though exactly what we mean by freedom sometimes gets thoroughly confused. For example, the whole sick idea of abortion on demand, no matter what the circumstances and no matter how advanced the pregnancy, has been sold to too many people as a freedom issue: Choice.
What a terrible distortion of such an important value. The fact of the matter is that legitimate freedom has its limits. We are not free to lie, cheat, steal, or murder. And mature people both see those limits and respect them.
The freedom of God’s children, of which St Paul speaks so often is on an entirely different level. It consists in our liberation by Christ from the tyranny of sin and death. We all still have to die, but because of Jesus death has no final grasp on us. We all still stumble into sin, but because of Jesus sin is no longer the defining element in our lives.
It’s a valuable exercise to ask ourselves what elements in our lives may be depriving us of the freedom that God wants for us. What fears, grievances, habits, and hates are standing in the way of our being the peaceful and happy people that God wants us to be? There’s no better strategy than to name them, claim them as our own, feel them, and then with the grace of the Spirit surrender them to the Lord.
Be truly free! That’s what Jesus died for!
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