Reflections of God's Goodness
I love ‘free’ days, and it started when I was a child. A ‘free’ day from school meant a lazy day of reading my book or playing in the park. A ‘free’ day from work or a day free from responsibilities or ‘to do’ lists still excites me, and I begin taking deep breaths and making my choices.
In America, we have more choices every day than in almost any other country in the world. We are free to pursue our interests — art or music, math or science. Or maybe we want to travel and see the world or stay close to family and friends. Maybe we want to be a professor, a policeman, or a potter. We have the freedom to choose where we live, how we believe and who are our friends.
Freedom, however, has another side — responsibility. Scripture says,
You, my brothers and sisters were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another in love.
Pope Francis says it this way in The Joy of the Gospel, “Goodness always tends to spread. Every authentic experience of truth and goodness seeks by its very nature to grow within us, and any person who has experienced a profound liberation becomes more sensitive to the needs of others.”
So what is this ‘profound liberation’ that Pope Francis speaks of? Over and over again, Pope Francis talks about a personal encounter with Jesus. When asked, "Who are you?" the Pope replied,
I am a sinner, but I trust in the infinite mercy and patience of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We believe that our freedom is a gift from God. As Christians, we believe God sent Jesus to free us from sin, and to write the law of love on our hearts, so that we are freed from self-centeredness and free for loving and serving one another.
The challenge for us is to allow the actions of the Holy Spirit to free us from selfishness — to experience goodness in ourselves and in others.
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
How can I practice what I have been freed for? In what area of my life do I need liberation from selfishness? Reflecting on these questions in our life can open our spiritual eyes to see the needs around us and deepen our understanding of the freedom we are called to in Christ.
As we celebrate this 4th of July, may the spirit of freedom, envisioned by the Gospel, grow in our hearts and in our country.
Blessings and Peace,
Sister Mary Ann Barnhorn
Director of Development
So, if the Son sets you free,
you will be free indeed.
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