STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
GAL 5:1, 13-1
Brothers and sisters:
For freedom Christ set us free;
so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.
For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters.
But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh;
rather, serve one another through love.
For the whole law is fulfilled in one statement,
namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
But if you go on biting and devouring one another,
beware that you are not consumed by one another.
I say, then: live by the Spirit
and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh.
For the flesh has desires against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh;
these are opposed to each other,
so that you may not do what you want.
But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
I am a big Harry Potter fan. I can quote most of the books to you. Today’s second reading always makes me think of Dobby the house elf. Dobby is bound by the magic of his kind to serve his master. He can’t disobey, even when it means putting others in danger. When he doesn’t follow orders, he has to punish himself by ironing his hands or twisting his ears. His slavery is brutal, and hard to watch. He can’t break free.
If you have read the books, you know that with Harry’s help Dobby is able leave his master. When that happens Dobby is filled with awe, love and gratitude for Harry Potter. He feels indebted to him and does everything he can to help Harry. He shows his gratitude in little ways like giving him socks and big ways like giving his life to rescue Harry and his friends. In his final act, Dobby refuses to go back to slavery when he is ordered too; he dies as a free elf.
We have a lot to learn from Dobby. We too have been set free, but so often we take it for granted. We fall back into our old habits. Gossip, pride, anger. These things bind us and wear us down. But, Christ’s death has freed us from the chains of sin. We don’t have to be bound to sin, we can rise up and serve Christ.
Paul reminds us in his letter now that we were not made for sin, but we were made to be free. We were made beautiful and good. We were made for love. We mustn’t misuse our freedom. St. Paul writes, “For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love.” (Galatians 5:13)
How do you use the freedom Christ have given you? Do you use it as an opportunity to fall into sin? Or do you embrace Christ’s love for you? Christ’s love for you and your freedom should impact every decision you make. It means sharing God’s love for others. It means sacrificing what you might want to do for God.
What our culture says about freedom often leads us to stronger chains. We must break free from sin and know that Jesus is there for us.
You are free. You can live and walk with the joy of knowing your freedom. Don’t let sin weigh you down. It is time to walk in the light of Christ.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
"For you were called for freedom, brothers and sisters. But do not use this freedom
as an opportunity for the flesh; rather, serve one another through love."
Do I embrace my freedom?
Do I choose sin, or do I choose God's love?
How can I live freely?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"I am free."
"I choose life."
"I choose love."
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
When do you choose freedom and when do you choose sin? Try to get confession today or sometime this week so you can fully embrace the freedom Christ has given us.
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Lisa Kendzior.