Monday, September 5, 2011

“One cannot desire freedom from the Cross when one is especially chosen for the Cross.” - St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

“The wisdom of the saints may seem dark and forbidding. But all saints learn that the one and only path to complete freedom and joy comes in a total surrender of self to the will of God, so that we might become all He created us to be.”

Gospel text (Lk 6,6-11):
On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
"Come up and stand before us."
And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them,
"I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
"Stretch out your hand."
He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus

Today, Jesus provides us with an example of the freedom, which we speak so much about. But, contrary to what most claim or consider as “freedom”, Jesus' freedom, is totally associated and adhered to the Father's actions. He will say: «I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; He can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does» (Jn 5:19). And the Father only does and acts out of love.

Love cannot be imposed but forces us to act, pulls us together and largely reverts to life. Jesus' command: «Get up and stand in the middle» (Lk 6:8) has the vivifying strength of he who loves and responds to the Word. And, the last part of his order: «Stretch out your hand» (Lk 6:10), that concludes the miracle, definitely restores life and strength to what was powerless and dead. “To save” is to draw from death, and this same word translates as “healing”. By healing, Jesus is saving whatever that poor ailing man had dead, and this is a clear sign of God's fatherly love for his creatures. Thus, in the new creation, where the Son does only what He sees his Father doing, the new law that will prevail will be the law of the acting love rather than that of a “dormant” relaxation, including doing good to the brother in need.

Jesus is courageous, fearless, and confrontational. He did not compromise His principles, even if He had to suffer severely. Jesus is courageous and crucified because He loves those with withered hands and withered spirits. Jesus, Who is Love (1 Jn 4:8, 16), wants the healing and salvation of all people (1 Tm 2:4)

Therefore, a conjugated freedom and love is the key for today. Freedom and love conjugated Jesus' way.

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