From the Hermitage
Wednesday of the 5th Lenten Week
Recently there has evolved debates over what some have referred to as a return to slavery. They speak about the tampering with the right to vote procedures in our states. It is interesting that we can speak out when civil rights are denied. It is a return to days of our past when slaves were not given a right to vote. I wish to address the issue of slavery as Jesus speaks about it in the gospel story we hear or read in today's liturgy.
Without any doubt if the question is put before us today, "Do you believe that the truth that Jesus teaches us about life will set us free from slavery?" this would raise a question in many minds? "What slavery?" Most of us do not feel that our lives are lived in slavery. What kind of slavery is Jesus mentioning in his words?
Another question: "Are you committed to Christianity?" "Of course, I am!" That would be the response of most Christians in our world today.
In the Catholic Church, we profess our faith on a weekly basis -- that is those who weekly make every effort "to keep holy the Sabbath." But how many Catholics have abandoned ship because they have felt the way of our Church in today's society is a return to a slavery. Those who have taken a leave of absence, so to speak, say that the rules and expectations of our Church are suffocating and interference with true, personal freedom. In a way these individuals, with the best of intentions, do not feel ready to sacrifice their freedom for what the Church teaches is the way to eternal happiness.
Often in these postings you have read words such as these, "Being a Christian, being a follow of Jesus Christ is no easy task!" Let those words resound today. Why is it that being a follower of Christ, being a Catholic is no longer an experience of freedom, of liberation? As mentioned yesterday, to know Jesus is to know God! If we truly believe that, why is it difficult to believe that in what God asks of us, just has he has asked of all who have ever lived on the face of this earth, we will find genuine freedom?
That last question is for each of us to consider seriously as we move closer to Easter Sunday.
Oremus pro invicem,