Today we return to Ordinary Time; it is the 10th Sunday, and our Gospel readings will continue now from St. Mark.

We, as citizens of our country, value our freedoms, and exercise many of them, often taking them for granted. We hear chants of freedom in our news frequently, and it is one of the few things that can make people of all classes and beliefs take to the streets and demonstrate in defense of this sacred right. To be free means to assume the responsibility to take the reins of one’s own life; it also implies assuming one’s mistakes without looking for excuses or blaming others; and that is often difficult and hard for us.

It is interesting that Jesus was a man who was radically free. He showed that by the way he faced his own death, step by step, during his life. Others could take his life, but NOT his freedom. He chose to do the will of our Father, even at times denying his own blood family, or confronting some of the norms of his society.

The Gospel invites us to follow the example of Jesus, who is the greatest example of freedom. To follow the example of Jesus means: to live the depth of our freedom; make our decisions as Christians, conscious that we are all brothers and sisters, children of the same Father; and assume responsibility for our actions and attitudes, which should always point toward building solidarity and not destroying it.

A good question for each of us: Do we use our freedom in the service of the freedom of others? Or does our exercise of freedom infringe on others’ freedoms?

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