Monday, October 27, 2014

To Release from Bonds

The Gospel for today's Mass is no doubt a text to stir emotions in the light of all the controversy surrounding the recent extraordinary synod in Rome:
     "One sabbath day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that left her enfeebled; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are rid of your infirmity’ and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God.
     But the synagogue official was indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, and he addressed the people present. ‘There are six days’ he said ‘when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the sabbath.’ But the Lord answered him. ‘Hypocrites!’ he said ‘Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie her bonds on the sabbath day?’ When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked." [Luke 13:10-17]

The question is really what is involved in untying bonds. Apart from physical healing such as that worked by the Lord Jesus for that dear woman on a sabbath, I think clarity and direction, living in and witnessing to the fullness of truth as it comes to us only from Christ is at the essence of freedom. The man or woman who is enabled to live in the light of truth is unbound, unchained. I think that is the whole point of taking the ox or the donkey out for watering each day, isn't it?

I am praying that this year which separates us from the ordinary synod might be graced by a profound experience in the Church of the true freedom which comes from embracing the truth which comes to us from God alone. We really need to come home to Christ in lots of ways; we need to be led and not just given our head.

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