13th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Sunday, June 30, 2019
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

Freedom. This next week on the 4th of July we will celebrate our Freedom.  Often times we think of freedom as being able to do or say whatever WE want.  But St. Paul in today’s 2nd reading urges the Galatians to a deeper kind of freedom.  He says “do not use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh (for what you want); rather serve one another through love.”  True freedom is not found in choosing what we want to do, but in confronting something we don’t want to do and having the freedom to choose it out of love.

A person who flees from difficult situations, a person who avoids entering into suffering and runs from the cross is not free.  They are shackled by their flesh, their own desires.  A person who is free is willing to embrace difficulties and even suffering out of love for others.  But this is hard to do.

I was recently visiting with a brother priest and we were celebrating our anniversary of ordination.  As we were reminiscing about the last 5 years as priests we said, this whole freely-laying-down-your-life like Christ thing is tough.  Who would have thought…?  So often we say we want to love like Christ, but we are not willing to embrace the cross.  We want the joy of Easter without going through the Good Friday passion.  But it is precisely the love to willingly take on things that are difficult or even painful that makes us free.

The wife who is angry at her husband and chooses to talk things out when she does not want to be anywhere near him, is truly free.  The dad who doesn’t want to get up at 3AM to change a diaper but does it anyway, is truly free.  When we encounter a person who drives us mad and we choose to assume the best and even try to know them better, we are truly free.

This week on the 4th of July we celebrate our freedom.  But not a freedom to do whatever WE want.  As disciples of Jesus we celebrate that we are not shackled by the fear.  We don’t run from difficulties or challenges or even suffering.  As Christians we do not celebrate a freedom from these things, we celebrate a freedom for something greater.  A freedom for love.