Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go in to Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.'”
Whenever the pope or the Church speak, myopic reporters and media types comb through the statement searching for the only topic of interest to American media: sex. And so, when Veritatis Splendor came out a decade ago, pretty much all anybody heard was the media moaning that the pope still had not altered Jesus’ teaching on sexual morality. If you didn’t happen to know, you’d think that was the subject of the encyclical. In reality, the main subject of the encyclical was much closer to the subject of today’s verse. For in that encyclical the pope reiterated the essence of what God says here: That God frees us, not to fling us into a moral void where our choices don’t matter, but to bring us into relationship with Himself where our choices matter immensely. Postmodernity jabbers about “freedom of choice,” but is not serious about it. What postmodernity wants is not freedom of choice, but freedom from the consequences of choice. And desiring that is simply another way of saying you don’t want choice to matter. God liberated Israel, as He liberates us, not so that they could do anything, but so that they could do the right thing: serve Him. That remains the right thing today. “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” (Gal 5:1). There is no heavier yoke of slavery than the slavery to meaninglessness and mere appetite. There is no greater freedom than the liberty of serving Christ.