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We usually understand freedom as the capacity for doing whatever we wish. Being free means choosing by ourselves all the criteria for our actions. Being free is deciding by ourselves who we want to be. Being free is separating ourselves from others, and ultimately from God. Being free is becoming the masters of our own lives.
Now, this conception leads to self-destruction. In fact, freedom is a gift given with creation. We have freedom because we are created free. We become free insofar as we maintain a good relationship with the Creator, who gives us our freedom. Being free is not a decision taken without God or against him. Rather, it is a “yes” to be in relationship with God who enables us to be ourselves. Instead of being led to self-destruction, a free human being is drawn to self-realization. By entering into a relationship with God, the author of their freedom, human beings become the persons whom God wants them to be. They are really free when they know the truth about themselves: being created free in God’s image to become his likeness.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus said to some Jews who believed in him, “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Through his teaching, Jesus revealed to us his Father’s face. He also showed us his relationship and his unity with the Father. If we listen to Jesus, we understand better his sonship with his Father. We also understand better our sonship with God. Through this knowledge of the truth about ourselves, we become free.
Our freedom springs from our acknowledgement of God as the author of our life and of our freedom. Being free does not mean being the children of that free man, Abraham. Being free is acknowledging a paternity that enables us to be really children of the same Father. Being free is living together as brothers and sisters in God’s house. In that house, none of us is a slave. All of us are brothers and sisters. And that is the freedom of the children of God.
In Jesus Christ, God shows us a new way of being free. We become free in the measure that we acknowledge our belonging to God. The more we place ourselves under the protection of God’s paternity, the more we become ourselves. He and he alone can enable us to become who we are meant to be. God created us free and in his image. Through our freedom, we are to find our own way of becoming God’s likeness. We are to be free as God is free.
Prayer: God our Father, help us to enjoy our freedom through our recognition of paternity.
Resolution: Write down some words that are synonyms of freedom.