Monday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Freedom comes not through an illusory independence, but only through a relationship with the God who is love. But freedom is not easy; many would prefer to be enslaved to baser desires. And yet, even in our temptations, God does not forget us and continually invites us to freedom: “if today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts” (Ps 95:8). The rebuke of Israel that we hear in our reading from Amos (Am 2:6-16)—a rebuke that comes about not only through words but also in God’s punishment of Israel—is actually an expression of God’s love, which will not relent until Israel comes to live more fully from the rightly ordered freedom that God offers. But true freedom springs from within, and so Jesus reminds us again in today’s gospel that it is not enough to declare one’s intention to follow Christ or even to follow in such a way that one would place other loves ahead of love of Jesus, who has left all things in order to save us. Perhaps that is what Jesus alludes to when he declares, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head” (Mt 8:20). The eternally begotten Son, to whom all things belong by right, has emptied himself of every riches, even life itself (through his death on the cross) in order that you might be saved. In the face of such love, which has sacrificed all things for your sake, how can you put anything at all ahead of this love that Jesus offers you? The sad thing is that, more often than not, we do not oppose his love with some noble thing, but some miserably pathetic thing, which any reasonable person would abandon in the face of so great a love. Let us not more be enslaved to our delusions of mediocrity, but let us rather abandon our illusory independence and rest our heads no longer on the false security of this world, but only on the breast of the one who has nowhere to lay his head.

June 27th, 2016