The Safety of Shackles
By Fr. Robert J. Carr
©Catholic Online 2005
The Gospel story of the man born blind is a great teacher. Jesus looks upon the man born blind as a child of God. Further, he uses his illness for the glorification of the Father. The Pharisees look at this situation through the eyes of the law. They do not see a suffering man, but, a set of laws that must be followed. Therefore, while Jesus works on an individual level in relation to the dignity of the human, the Pharisees are caught in laws and power structures.
We cannot dismiss the Pharisees so easily, they are doing what they should be doing, discerning the reality of the miracle. Their fear of losing their power poisons their discernment. They claim the miracle is not of God because it breaks the Sabbath, which it does not. Meanwhile, if they say it is of God, then they must humble themselves before Jesus. Those who choose to do that will have their eyes opened. They choose, however, not to do that, for they do not want Jesus in their camp.
This is where everything stands and falls on that simple word, choice. They choose to remain blind, and therefore, they are spiritually blind. The man, in his humility chooses to believe in the miracle for he now sees, so he becomes not only cured physically, he is also cured spiritually. The consequences of everything fall down to one thing "Choice." Woe to those who choose against Christ.
CHOICE AND FEAR
Yet, one of the things to always understand is that the Pharisees do nothing wrong in a sense. They believe the man is a sinner and they take the steps to protect themselves and the people. Their actions are based on protecting themselves from falling into sin and heresy. The problem is they are so much in fear of the consequences of the wrong choice that they live in fear and reverse the fear into badly used power.
Jesus comes to free us from bondage to all things, including fear, disease, worldly oppression. Yet, in order to be freed, we must humble ourselves before him so that he can free us. If we do not humble ourselves we will never be free.
Our obedience to the laws of the Church, the world and of God must be rooted in a lack of fear and must be rooted to the openness to Christ's power in our lives. We have to throw off the shackles of fear: fear of Hell, fear of rejection, fear of retribution, fear of offending others, (That politically correct stuff is a form of bondage. It binds language.) fear of death, etc. We need to open ourselves up to the work of Christ.
STANDING WITHOUT SHACKLES
Yet we can only do that when we are ready to turn away from those things that can heavily oppress us. We have to be ready not to stand out in a crowd, but to stand out unshackled in a crowd of the shackled. The shackled will fearfully choose away from Christ because life is just so much easier when you are shackled. You have no bills, no responsibilities, no decisions. You have only the pain of bondage. Yet, the shackled who choose to walk out of their chains despite the challenges of life, these are the ones who walk through the valley death without fear, for they are walking with Christ.
The Pharisees choose to be the shackled, they choose to be the big fish in the small pond. The blind man chooses sight over his blindness, Christ over the shackles of the Pharisees' tyranny.
What do we choose?
Remember it is easier to be shackled than to be free. Yet, the shackled are on the road to death. The Pharisees do not know it but they are living in the last decades of the temple and Jewish political state(until 1946). They are on the road to death. The man born blind finds eternal life.
WHAT IS OUR CHOICE
What choice are we making in our life to reject shackles? Do we choose the shackles of human wisdom or freedom in the light of Divine truth? Do we choose the shackles of following the law without rooting ourselves in a relationship with God in his community? Do we choose the shackles of career over the life-giving call of the family? The tyranny of abortion over the freedom of being part of God's gift of life? The death penalty instead of seeking to bring the hope of conversion even to the most hardened criminal? The tyranny of a secular spirit of education in our Catholic Schools, or do we insist in an evangelical spirit in our education brought forth by deeply committed Catholics?
All these questions are rooted in one decision. Do we support spiritual blindness or spiritual vision? The Pharisees sought blindness; the blind man found vision. Everything the Pharisees stood for ended when the Temple fell by Roman hands in 70 A.D. Everything Christ brought forth exists to this day. Which choice do you make from here on in your life? The shackles of safety and power, or the freedom of life in Christ?
http://www.catholicismanew.org MA, US
Fr. Robert J. Carr - Priest, 617 542-5682
blindness, Miracles, Faith
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Central bankers warn of looming global recession HD Video
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- Can Catholic culture thrive on the internet and social media?
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, June 28th, 2017 HD Video
- Older Catholics play IMPORTANT role in shaping new generations, says ...
- St. Cyril of Alexandria: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, June 27, 2017
- Catholic chapel brutally attacked, religious icons destroyed with ...
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, June 26th, 2017 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, June 25th, 2017 HD
- Pope Francis prepares an incredible gift of love and solidarity for South Sudan HD