Free for a Mission: Weekly Message for 07-02-2019

Dear Friends in Christ,

The start of July in the U.S. means a most hallowed secular feast is near, Independence Day.

The word independence is like a duffel bag. People jam all kinds of things into it.

For some, independence means, “I can do what I want.” But that definition fails the reality test.

For none of us came into the world on our own. None of us raised ourselves or changed our own diapers. We didn’t build the house that sheltered us.

Even now, most of us rely on food grown by others, wear clothes made by others, drive cars built by others, and use electricity that comes from who-knows-where.

Moreover, our very lives didn’t come from us and aren’t sustained by us. God alone keeps us in existence at every moment.

So this notion of independence is a relative term. Still, as beings made in the image of God, we have intellects and wills, and as such we are moral agents called to use our talents for the glory of the Almighty and the good of other people.

This duty resounds in one of the prefaces for the Mass of Independence Day, where it says that Christ’s “message lives on in our midst as our task for today …”

“Our task” – a nice reminder that independence (however it’s defined) isn’t about license but about mission. What freedom we have, should be put to use for making Christ known in the world.

For a bit of inspiration from someone who struggled with her own limitations but who did her part to make Christ known, you might turn to The Apostle of the Apostles: A Retreat Guide on St. Mary Magdalene.

July Fourth … what better time to ask ourselves how we are using our independence for the sake of Jesus.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC

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One Comment
  1. Good Morning Father,

    In keeping with the subject matter, I once heard a priest define freedom not as the liberty to do what we want to do, but the liberty to do what we are obligated to do. Personally, based upon my readings about Francis of Assisi, I have concluded that there is freedom in obedience (Does this sound like an oxymoron?). Either way, unless we exercise our freedom within moral context, it is not really freedom, but vice.


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