This weekend we celebrate Independence Day for our Country. We celebrate Freedom! I would like first of all to wish you all “Happy Independence Day!” Happy Birthday to America!
Today’s gospel takes us on the journey of discipleship that reminds us of the true freedom we are meant to experience as we strive to respond to the call of the Lord to bear him witness. The gospel tells us that we have to focus on what is necessary and essential in our life as disciples. That is to hunger and thirst for the fulfillment of our mission.
Like the disciples in their time, we are also consumed by the desire and concern for our safety, that we have what is necessary for our life. At points, this is so deep and overwhelming in our life that it can take us away from the true purpose for which the Lord created us and sent us. We are meant to be disciples and witness of the kingdom of God in the world. While the world is anxious and overwhelmed by the different preoccupations that surround life, we are called to be a reminder and to point to what is necessary in our life. We all hunger for heaven, and this is the most important goal we are to pursue.
Today, we are invited to reflect on our life and find out what can prevent us from being consumed by our life’s mission in the world. Jesus tells his disciples to take nothing with them because he will provide. Have you ever thought about that? Or if you have, when was the last time you said to yourself that all is in God’s hands? The mission is His, it is Missio Dei. Therefore, we are expected to embrace it with faith; because faith makes us thank God even amidst our struggles. For we know that He who sends us will always make sure that we have what we need to fulfill the mission.
On this 4 th of July, we are reminded that to celebrate true freedom is to embrace the Lord and to commit to serving Him through selfless service to others. Today we celebrate freedom for God. That we may be free from every bondage and everything that could still pull us back from bearing witness and from intentional discipleship. Think about this today: when you celebrate freedom on this day, what do you put in that basket you call “Freedom?” You are free for what and from what?
As we celebrate Independence Day, the gift of freedom, let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family so that we may always strive to fulfill our life’s mission, strive to follow the Lord’s command to leave behind us everything that could distract us from the most necessary thing of our life: heaven for which we hunger and the kingdom we are called to build alongside Jesus. Happy 4th of July!