I had the fortunate occasion of having all of the weekend Masses (5) this weekend at St Mary’s…one more to go….and decided to sit and share some thoughts on the upcoming Fourth of July holiday.
Imagine for a moment that when you woke up this morning after a restful night of sleep you turned on the news only to discover, to your horror and dismay, that each and every freedom that we enjoy as citizens of these United States had been revoked! This is how I started my homily this weekend. I told the people that perhaps they hadn’t heard the news or were simply determined disciples but either way when they left the church they were going to be arrested because our freedom of religion was one of the freedoms that had been revoked. Imagine how you would feel to learn such horrible news. Of course, that is not the case and our freedoms to practice our religion is still in tact as well as all of our other freedoms. They are protected and upheld by elected officials, military personnel, first responders, police officers and the like. Of course, there is another type of freedom that we celebrate and we hear St Paul preach the liberating message to the community living in Galatia (2nd reading this weekend). Paul reminds the Galatians that they are free because of the freedom that is given to God’s children because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. When God promised the Israelites the promised land, a land flowing with like and honey, he promised them that they would be free to enjoy what He had freely given. As we prepare to celebrate the 237th birthday of our great nation, let us each take a moment to reflect on the freedoms that we so enjoy in this great land and never be afraid to speak freely about the liberating, embracing and all-encompassing love of Jesus Christ. So many citizens of the world will never even have a taste of what we sometimes take for granted: freedom! Happy Birthday America and may God always shower down upon us His protective love so that we can always enjoy true freedom!