Sam Potter MGL – DOJ Canberra
“We have never been the slaves of anyone; what do you mean, “You will be made free”?”
This comment is one that reverberates through our society today as it seems the highest value of our culture is one’s personal liberty, autonomy and right to do what one pleases. If we are honest with ourselves though this question doesn’t just infect our society but deeply infects our hearts too, as the very thing that enslaves us blinds us to the reality of our slavery: sin.
In order for one to desire to be free one must recognise that they are not currently free, that they are captive in their sin, which, to varying degrees, we all are. Without this knowledge the Cross means very little, or as St Paul says it is “folly” (1 Cor 1:18). This is a major role of the Spirit in our lives, as Christ declares the Spirit will be sent to “convince the world of sin and of righteousness and of judgement…” (Jn 16:8-9).
So we must open ourselves to the Spirit and pray for this grace to recognise in what areas we are held captive. But then how can we cooperate with His grace to attain the freedom we now long for. Christ instructs us “Make my word your home…and the truth will make you free…if the Son makes you free you will be free indeed.” It is only Christ who can set us free. By His life and teachings we come to know the truth and so are able to live according to His will. By his passion, death and resurrection our sins are overcome and so we are led into true freedom in the Lord.
So no matter what our circumstances, even if we are thrown into a furnace as was the case for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, we may “walk… about freely”.
1st Reading: Daniel 3.13-20, 24, 49-50, 91-95++
Gospel: John 8.31-42