Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Freedom or Prison of Choice

Another reflection that I delivered today (4/10/2013). This version has some content added and modified.

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The readings may be found here. The readings are: Acts 5:17-26, Ps 34, John 3:16-21

The Sadduces, filled with jealousy, threw the Apostles in prison. We ought to ask ourselves who was really imprisoned.

At times we think it is pitiful to be poor, but the Lord hears the cry of the poor (cf. Psalm 34). The rich live in prisons of money, the prideful live in prisons of ambition, and the relativist lives in the prison of no boundaries.

The powerful grow poor and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing” (Ps. 34:11)

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in the Lord,” for that man is given true freedom. Upon reflection we discover that boundaries, rules, restrictions, and commandments were given to us not to restrict our freedom but to ensure it. At times these restrictions pain us, because restrictions cause tensions with our desires.

The one who believes that freedom is fulfilling every desire runs headlong towards a cliff and over, where there is no more freedom. The one who discerns the nature of his desires in light of God's help and His servant's teachings is able to say “yes” to this and “no” to that, preserving his life and developing it too.

Jesus is the “light of the world” (Jn 8:12) and He lights these commandments He's given us. While they do not burn as bright as He does, they are given as guides that keep us close to Him.

John tells us simply and plainly: “light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light, because their works were evil” (Jn 3:20).

There are those who do not want to be told what to do, and thus they flee the Light and the smaller lights he has placed around us. We can ignore large commandments, but truly we can even ignore instruction in our own life of faith and even those concepts of Him we hold so dear. Shall the lights He's placed around us be where we gather or from where we flee?

The light, in the end, will expose our works, our thoughts, and our heart. Even if we are in error, this is not a cause for fear. Come to the light and you will know Him. Come to Him and you will freely choose Him.