We once again have the great privilege of celebrating Independence Day.
It has been 239 years since our nation was founded based on freedom from England and still our appreciation and celebration remain fresh and new. As humans we love the notion of freedom. We do not like to be enslaved and we do not want our destinies to be determined by someone else, we love freedom.
Fortunately, you and I are Christians and we have access to what freedom is really about in light of the faith of Jesus Christ. Authentic freedom isn't simply doing whatever we want to do when we want to do it, but is really about being free fro, anything that stands in our way of serving God with a clean and clear conscience. This is a very important distinction as we are surrounded by a world that is drunk on an erroneous sense of freedom. Doing what we want and when we want it has led to many harmful effects, such as epidemic levels of alcohol and drug abuse. It has led to sexual promiscuity and unwanted children. This immature sense of freedom has caused families broken by divorce, infidelity and abortion and many other evils. It has also given rise to an abuse of our earth and its resources, as Pope Francis recently brought forth in his encyclical, as well as our nation's highest court redefining the meaning of marriage so that same sex couples can be legally considered married.
You and I have a wonderful opportunity to reclaim for ourselves and for our society a true sense of freedom. When freedom is understood as a gift from the Lord, it is a gift, as are all good things that come from Him, that must be reciprocated to Him, because it is given in love and love is receiving and giving.
Our Lord spoke of freedom and its goal, which is to serve Him and consider ouselves His servants and followers. To follow Him, however, is not the shallow notion of having an optimistic or positive mindset while living an immoral and Godless life, but rather about knowing what he asks of us and living it, that is how we reciprocate the gift of freedom.
Thank God for our country, thank God for our freedom and thank God for the Church, which guides and teaches us in following our Lord in freedom. In these days that we celebrate and recall thr freedom that makes us so proud, let us offer it to the Lord, that He may bless us and lead us to Himself.