|Memorial of St. John Ogilvie, S.J.
Galatians 4:22-24, 26-27, 31--5:1
Psalm 113:1-2, 3-4, 5, 6-7
What enslaves you? We are all slaves to something, or many things. For those of us in our American consumer society, the "good life" can become an enslavement as our desire for more and more drives our lives. Some of us may be in positions of power, where the ability to control people or events or vast amounts of resources enslaves us and drives our lives. Some of us may have addictions, where the craving enslaves us and drives our lives in directions we really don't want to follow.
Jesus reminds His listeners today that the message He brought them was greater than the message of Solomon, and the message of Jonah. Paul suggests that the message of Jesus will set us free from our slaveries.
What is this powerful message that can free us from our desire for more, from our desire to control, from our craving for what destroys us? I can't tell you what it is for you, but for me it is the soft "thank you" that a homeless man utters when he goes through the food line at the soup kitchen; it is the tearing eyes of the battered mother and children as they come to the shelter and realize they are safe, if only for a night; it is a smile of delight on the face of a mentally challenged child as she plays a simple game; it is the humble gratitude of a family that receives a box of food at Christmas; it is the student who goes out of his way to tell you that you helped change his life; it is the hug of your child when she leaves your home, both of you knowing she is going into the world to be on her own; it is the gentle touch of a spouse with whom you have shared a lifetime of touches; it is the simple faith of the incapacitated parent who now relies on you as you once did on him.
I am enslaved when I ignore these messages from Jesus. I am
free when I listen to these messages and ignore the enslavers. Today
I pray that I can listen and be free.
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