"If you live according to My teaching, you are truly My disciples; then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." —John 8:31-32
Some people think freedom is "doing our own thing." However, this is disguised slavery to the devil (see Rm 6:16). Freedom is doing God's thing — at least that's the beginning of freedom.
The first step to freedom is being Jesus' disciple. This entails living according to His teaching, which enables us to know the truth, that is, being in true, committed, loyal relationships (Jn 8:31). When we are true to one another, Jesus the Truth (Jn 14:6) sets us free (Jn 8:36). Thus, freedom is the goal of a process which must include obedience and truth.
All of us cry for freedom, but we should first cry for obedience and truth. We try to free ourselves, but freedom is something that must be done for us by Jesus. We try to control circumstances or even manipulate people to be free, but freedom has nothing to do with circumstances. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego had exceptional freedom under the worst of circumstances, even while in the fiery furnace (Dn 3:20). Nailed to the cross and crucified, Jesus performed the greatest act of freedom in the greatest act of obedience and truth (Phil 2:8).
"It was for liberty that Christ freed us. So stand firm, and do not take on yourselves the yoke of slavery a second time" (Gal 5:1).
Prayer: Father, this Lent free me to deny myself in new ways.
Promise: "They disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God." —Dn 3:95
Praise: George received healing in the Sacrament of Reconciliation and was set free from his sin.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our booklet, The Truth Will Set You Free.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 3, 2008
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