Freedom the essence of human existence: You are free!
Do you know that most people are living in bondage? Do you know that so many people are living in slavery? Do you know that almost all the problems we are facing in the world today are directly or indirectly related to slavery? Do you know that prisoners need freedom more than anything you can think of? Do you even know that you are a free being? Do you know that Jesus Christ has set you free?
In today’s Second Reading from Galatians 5:1 St. Paul declares, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brethren…” I may not know what you make out of this statement, but for me, this is good News! By implication, as long as you are connected with Christ Jesus, you are not a slave – you are a free being! You are not in bondage – you are as free as the birds of the air. Nothing and nobody can enslave you!
There are several forms of slavery. We have political slavery, religious slavery, mental slavery, economic slavery, spiritual slavery and even marital slavery. The worst form of slavery is sin. Our Lord Jesus Christ described sin as the worst form of slavery. “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. 35 And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever.” (John 8:34-35) A sinner is a slave! Your freedom begins the very day you are able to say no to sin.
The main reason our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world was to set the captives free. In the gospel of Luke 4:18 Jesus declares, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed.” In a nutshell, our Lord Jesus came into the world to restore human freedom. As St. Paul rightly declares,
“For freedom Christ has set us free!’
Since Christ has set us free, how then can we connect with our freedom? Our Lord Jesus Christ declares, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32). Truth is the channel of human freedom. An honest man is a free man.
Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). He is the Truth that sets us free. He is the channel of our freedom. As He rightly declares, “If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36) In line with this, Pope Francis declares, “If you follow Jesus and His Gospel, your freedom will blossom like a plant in bloom and will bring good and abundant fruit, You will find authentic joy, because He wants us to be men and women who are happy and fulfilled.” There is joy in freedom! And there is freedom in Christ Jesus!!!
Finally, freedom is not a licence to do evil. It is not the freedom to commit sin. As St. Paul rightly warns, “…do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh” (Galatians 5:1). Your freedom is freedom to do good and not evil. The Holy Father, Pope Francis advised the young people, saying, “Dear young people, do not use your freedom unwisely. Don’t squander the great dignity of being children of God that has been given to you.” Child of God, as long as you are connected with Christ Jesus, you are a free being. As you use your freedom wisely, it shall be well with you in Jesus name – Amen!
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