Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
“For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”
So many of us can’t relate to this in the same way the church in Galatia could when St. Paul first wrote these words. We aren’t slaves in the sense that we typically think, especially as Americans. We are free to live our lives as we choose- we don’t have masters who lord over us and tell us what to do or limit our freedom to choose how we want to live. We aren’t stuck in situations where we are punished or treated badly day in and day out, unless we’re living in terrible situations- which I hope and pray no one reading this is. However, there is a type of slavery that we all live in and it can cause us to suffer in similar ways to those experiencing other forms of slavery.
We live as slaves to ourselves. How many of us suffer at the hands of our perfectionism? We can’t complete simple tasks or make easy decisions because we’re enslaved by our desire for perfection. How many of us suffer from the slavery of our work and our supposed leisure? We spend all of our free time studying, doing school work, working at jobs, and our relaxation and leisure time is spent enslaved to screens and our desire to be connected. Make no mistake, so many of us suffer from slavery of one sort or another.
However, St. Paul gives us a firm and blunt reminder that we were set free by Jesus. It was specifically for us to be free from the slavery of sin, but the rest of St. Paul’s words show us that it was also to free us from the slavery we suffer at the hands of ourselves. You see, the church in Galatia were enslaved to the law. They spent their lives trying to live according to customs, precepts, and laws, and it caused them to lose the freedom that Christ has won for us. Christ died not only to set us free from our sin, but to set us free in every aspect of our lives. We are free to live with and in Christ! Our slavery to perfectionism can be liberated by realizing that Christ is our call, he is our vocation. Our slavery to work and our media can be liberated by putting our time and our life plan in Christ’s hands. Our lives are meant to be lived free- free from stress and constraints put on us by work and commitments, free from the anxiety that comes at the hands of our “connections” to the world around us.
For freedom Christ set us free- so let’s begin to place our lives fully in his hands and allow him to lead us to freedom from the world and freedom from ourselves.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
How am I living a life enslaved to myself?
In what ways have I experienced the freedom that Christ won for me?
How can I stop submitting to the yoke of slavery and turn to Christ to experience freedom?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"You are my freedom."
"I'm no longer a slave."
"Help me live my freedom."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Take time in prayer today to consider where you feel yourself living enslaved. Write those things down and invite the Lord's freedom to permeate those areas of your life. Begin living freedom today!
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"Today's prayer was prepared by Adam Smyth, the Life Teen Coordinator at St. Anthony of Padua Parish in the Woodlands, TX.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called ""Prayers"" and let us know how we can pray for you today. "
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