Freedom to Obey

The following is a reflection for the Second Sunday of Lent, by Sr. Marie Lucey, FAN Director of Advocacy and Member Relations
Originally published in our March 2nd newsletter

Freedom and obedience do not seem to be a likely pair, but they are closely linked in the Exodus account of the Ten Commandments. Those of us raised on the Catechism learned to recite the Commandments early in our education, at an age when we resisted obedience to parents and other adults. All those “shalt nots” seemed restrictive, not freeing. Now we pay closer attention to the fact that God delivered the Commandments after the Israelites were brought out of Egypt, “that place of slavery.” This new freedom did not imply that the people were free to do whatever they wanted regardless of how their actions affected others. Freed from human slavery, they were free to obey God’s law of love.


Imagine a world in which all people exercised freedom by loving God (however one names God), and loving others by not doing anything that would harm them in any way. We would all respect others, turning the “shalt nots” into loving attitudes and actions. That, of course, would be a perfect world rather than one continually in need of redemption. Thousands of years after God gave humans the commandments, years during which the gift of freedom was abused in multiple ways, God “so loved the world” that God gave us himself in the person of Jesus who would enter fully into the human experience. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is so angry with those who violate sacred time (Passover) and sacred space (the Temple) with business and money changing that he physically drives them out of the Temple. He then identifies the temple building with the temple of his body, predicting it would be violated and destroyed before rising in glory. John reminds us that Jesus “did not need anyone to testify about human nature” because “He himself understood it well.”

God knows us better than we know ourselves, and loves us with all our messiness, sinfulness and goodness. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom…” (1Cor.1:24). May each of us rejoice that God is so foolish as to love us even when we choose to fall back into slavery, even when we find it difficult to love ourselves.

Sr. Marie Lucey
FAN Director of Advocacy and Member Relations

Published in: on March 3, 2015 at 11:31 am  Leave a Comment  

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