Thursday, July 4, 2013

There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just.

“When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society.” - Pope John Paul II

Gospel Text: (MT 9:1-8)
After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
“This man is blaspheming.”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
“Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
he then said to the paralytic,
“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.

Throughout his earthly life, Jesus exercised a ministry of unbinding. He cast out demons that had kept people enslaved. He released people from physical illnesses. With words of forgiveness he set others free from guilt and shame. And as we see in today’s Gospel reading, he often unbound people on more than one level. In today’s story, a physical healing followed a deeper liberation from sin.

So how free are you feeling these days?

It’s okay to admit that there are places in our hearts that still need to be unbound. After all, none us of is perfect! God doesn’t expect us to have it all together all the time. What he wants is an open heart, a docile spirit, for people to be humble and allow him to keep loosening the bonds that hold us back.

It may be a habit that has become an addiction. It may be guilt over an unforgiven sin or resentment against someone who has hurt us. It may be a distorted view of who God is and how he looks at us. Whatever it is, we can bring it before the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and ask him to unbind us.

Purity of heart is what enables us to see and what will also make us truly free.

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