“True freedom is not advanced in the permissive society, which confuses freedom with license to do anything whatever and which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace.”― Pope John Paul II: (Pope Saint John Paul II born Karol Józef Wojtyła was Pope from 1978 to 2005. He is called by some Catholics Saint John Paul the Great.)
Gospel Text: (JN 8:31-42)
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
"If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, 'You will become free'?"
Jesus answered them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father's presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father."
They answered and said to him, "Our father is Abraham."
Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!"
So they said to him, "We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God."
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me."
In today's gospel passage we hear these familiar words: "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8: 32).
Freedom is so misunderstood today. Freedom is not the same as autonomous. Freedom is a gift from God and freedom must be rooted in God. When we live our lives outside of God, we are slaves; we are slaves to sin, to our ego, to every opinion and whim.
True freedom is rooted in our communion with Jesus. Only the disciple is truly free and only the free can truly love.