April 1, 2020 – Wednesday of the 5th Week of Lent
Click here for the readings (http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/040120.cfm)
Do you want to live free?
I am sure, each of us wants to be free, to be free from worries, free from anxieties, free from illnesses, free from problems, free from stress, free from pain, free from suffering and free from anything that bothers us.
These days the more we desire such freedom too. We want to live free from the threat of Covid-19. My friends who have been in strict home quarantine and friends who are under monitoring and investigation have expressed their anxiety and fear and their desire to be freed from those. My friends and relatives who are in the medical field also aired the same desire and to be freed from so much stress they have now. Most of our prayers these days also expressed this desire.
Indeed, God wants us to live free. We recall that In fact, we were made to live free at the beginning which we find in the life of Adam and Eve before the “Fall.” Yet, we, human beings chose not to live free and that was the result of the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the garden of Eden, from the grace of God.
Yet, God never surrendered on us. The bible tells us that whenever God’s people were made captives and slaves, God sends his representatives to set his people free. Thus, Moses was chosen and sent by God to set the Hebrew free from slavery in Egypt. David was sent to bring into fall Goliath and the Philistines and set Israel free from the threat of other nations. There are many more stories like these that we could find in the bible.
The best story that we have is the incarnation of the Son of God, Jesus, in order to make us free once and for all, so that we will be free from our sins, from our evil ways and will live forever in God’s grace and joy.
The Gospel reminds us now that Jesus has set us free. We, who know Jesus as Savior and Lord, have the knowledge of such freedom from sin and death. However, what we also realize is our tendency to go back again and again to our sinful ways, to our evil tendencies.
This is indeed true because we have the tendency to succumb to our old and bad habits, ways, thoughts and attitudes. Even though we have realized that we have been repeating the same sin or weakness, we continue to do the same thing precisely because we have not yet fully accepted that we have the capacity to live free from those through Jesus Christ.
This is also the case when we continue to hold on to our old anger and hate, to our old wound of rejection and failure, to our decade old frustrations, and to our traumatic and painful experiences. When we continue to hold them tight then the more we become imprisoned by our own past. We are rather called now to live in freedom today and not to be captives of our old and habitual sins and destructive attitudes. There are no truths in here just our cover-ups, pretensions and facades.
Jesus has told us, “If you know me, you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.(Jn 8:32)” Jesus calls us once again to know him more and better, to get near to him and to let him free us from what bothers us now, whatever that may be. Jesus, who is the truth, assures us that if we decide to be with him, he shall make us free. Let us come to him, then. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR