In today’s first reading from Daniel 3, we see the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego getting thrown into the fiery furnace. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego had faith. Faith enough to know that when they got thrown into the furnace, God would set them free. In today’s Gospel from John 8, Jesus talks about being set free. He says, “If the Son frees you, you will be free indeed.” But His listeners didn’t quite get it. After all, they were not slaves.
Freedom is often a misunderstood concept. Many people think that freedom means not having to answer to anyone. Not having to follow anyone’s “rules”, especially the Church’s. But is true freedom about having no rules? After all, if there were no rules and I was left to my own devices, something tells me I would be a terrible slave to sin. How about you?
See, true freedom comes when we allow the Son to set us free. When the love of Jesus fills our hearts, only then do we become free – free from fear, free from anger, free from all those things that truly enslave us. If we allow Jesus to set us free, we are free indeed. Free to do the right. You see, the problem is that so many of us think that the bondages in which we are held are freedom. Because that’s what the world tells us. Don’t fall for it, my friend.
Father, we thank you for true freedom. The freedom that can be found only through your Son. Help us today to live freely, to love freely, to serve freely. Amen.