We have been "called for freedom"
(Gal. 5:13). It is the "glorious freedom of the children of God"(Rom.8:21).
This "glorious freedom" reminds us that "life in man is the glory of
God" (St. Irenaeus). We can only be brought into this fullness of life
if we live according to God's will. Jesus set us free by his loving obedience
to the Father unto death on the cross. He chose to live his life in total
dependence upon the Father's will, and thus totally dependent upon the Holy
Spirit to lead him every step of the way in his mission as the Lamb of God. As
a child of God, it is my dependence--not independence--which is the core of my
real freedom (see Dictionary of Biblical Theology, p. 653). The
first Adam forsook this gift of dependence and chose to live independently from
God. In doing so, Adam entered into the "slavery" of sin which leads to death.
We are joint heirs with Jesus, "The
New Adam", who has chosen to commit himself fully to the Father's will through
a radical dependence. The first Adam, in disobedience to God, abused his
freedom as child of God. Mary, the New Eve, welcomed the will of God with the
greatest interior freedom. She understood her true identity: "Behold, I am the
handmaid of the Lord" (Luke 1:38). Hence, she submitted to God's will fully:
"May it be done to me according to your word" (Luke 1:38). Jesus expresses the
true freedom of the child of God when he says, "Behold, I come to do your will
O God" (Heb.10:7). "We do not exist to be free to do our own will, but we do
exist to be free to do God's will" (An Undivided Heart. Sr. Evelyn Ann
Schumacher, O.S.F., p.54). Because God is love, His will is a "loving will".
His loving will expresses his love for each of us.
St. Paul cautions the Galatians to not
"submit again to the yoke of slavery" (Gal. 5:1). In contrast, obedience is a
"sweet, fragrant yoke" of God that actually produces the deepest freedom to
serve God. Obedience serves God, not self, and through obedience we can experience
the "paradise" of freedom. Each time we choose to obey God, we can in a sense
hear Jesus say: I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise"
(Luke 23:43). Our obedience, freely chosen, brings us into the 'true family'
of God: "For whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is my brother, and
sister, and mother" (Mt. 12:50). St. Paul reminds the Corinthians, "Now the
Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom"
(2 Cr.3:17); And, we read in TheActs of the Apostles, "the Holy
Spirit that God has given to those who obey him" (Acts 5:32). We note in
these two scripture passages again the connection between obedience and
authentic freedom. As a child of God I am free to say to God, "Not my will
but yours be done" (Luke 22:42). By submitting to God's will freely, I can face
the future with confidence!
I living in a true humble and loving submission to God in my life?
I equate obedience with freedom in my life?
Any scripture from the text; John 5:30; Acts 13:22; Gal.5:1;
TIME TO EXPIATE"
PLEASE VISIT "THIS WEEK'S BURNING ISSUES" ON THE "EVENTS" PAGE