Enslaved

Take care that you do not forget the Lord,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
that house of slavery.
Deuteronomy 6:12

Reading these words of Moses to the people of Israel in today’s first reading, I began to reflect on how God has helped me become free from what prevents me from being fully human – that is, fully living in God’s image.

The people of Israel were freed from real slavery, oppression from a cruel ruler – as may people have been oppressed throughout history and even in our own time.

God also sought to free the people of Israel from those slaveries that came from within themselves: their lack of trust in God, their nostalgia for the comforts of enslavement, their lack of gratitude.

But what has God freed me from in my past? What enslavements is God trying to free me even today.

The self-righteousness of my youth and beyond. The giving over to passions. The looking for approval from others. The noonday devil of sloth. The desire to live an easy, all too comfortable life. Discouragement in the face of mistakes or failures.

The list could go on.

But it helps to remember how God has liberated us from enslavements in the past and still is liberating us.

Then we can respond to God in gratitude, as well as with an openness to the long process of liberation that God wants to work in us.

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