Monday, June 28, 2010
Freedom and love
By Mary DeTurris Poust
A great way to start the week, with Pope Benedict XVI's Angelus message about the meaning of freedom in the life of a Christian. Jesus' "call and demand" to turn our lives over to him -- to give up everything, even our very selves -- can seem "harsh," the pope said, but in reality reflect the "newness and absolute priority of the Kingdom of God."
By giving our lives to Christ, we experience a new dimension of freedom, one where we are not focused on doing what we want when when we want but on something greater, deeper. True freedom is about loosening the ties that bind us to earthly things -- material things, power, money, transitory desires -- in order to know ourselves and God in a transforming way. Quite different from the view of freedom in secular American society.
Yesterday I attended Mass celebrated by a newly ordained priest at my parish in upstate New York. The readings seemed like a perfect way for him to talk about his own vocation to the priesthood, his willingness to sacrifice everything. The words and actions of Elisha, Paul and Jesus himself could have provided a ready-made homily for this young priest. And yet he chose not to focus on himself but on all of us, particularly the young people graduating from high school and college this month. He reminded us to be "eager" to take up our mission, the way Christ was eager to take up our salvation, even through death on the cross. He compared us to Elisha, saying that instead of putting on a cloak we have put on Christ himself through baptism. He beckoned us to gratefully approach Christ in the Eucharist, recognizing that even now he is eager for our salvation.
We can be "eager" about a lot of things -- for vacation, a new house, a better job. But are we eager for God?
Posted by Mary DeTurris Poust at 9:41 AM