thoughts and observations on the daily readings
Wednesday in the Second Week of Easter
Readings may be found here
When our culture imagines freedom, it appears to have in mind freedom from restrictions, personal autonomy, and the idea that we somehow create ourselves as we see fit. Sadly, this cultural version is a much reduced version of the freedom for which our hearts truly long.
To understand this, we need to recall the link between love and freedom. In marriage, the husband and wife each surrender part of themselves, some of their personal autonomy. But when that marriage is lived authentically as a communion of life, that surrender becomes gain as the two individuals become so much more. In the mathematics of love, 1+1= infinity. And consider when that expanding love participates in God’s life-giving work by the raising of children. Parents, in love, place all kinds of restrictions on their children. But these restrictions in fact enable the freedom of the children as they are able to engage in the world protected and guided. Sometimes we find ourselves needing to care for a loved one in need or illness. Is that service in love feel like a reduction of our freedom or do we render that service with a sense of joy and gratitude that we can help?
Today, we hear about the imprisonment and miraculous deliverance of the Apostles. But the truth is that even in prison, they were still free. They knew the freedom of the children of God. Their earthly circumstances could never change the gift given to them by God. As the Gospel of John puts it so succinctly “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son…”
In these days of pandemic, the many restrictions on daily life and work are hard to bear. And yet it is good to be reminded of the truth that has already set us free – the truth of God’s loving mercy. We may be limited in movement, but there are no restrictions on our capacity to believe, to hope, to love.