Only God’s laws bring true freedom

| Deacon Joe Zablinski | August 27, 2015 | 0 Comments


In the movie “Braveheart,” William Wallace roared this powerful word while leading the Scots in their first war of independence against the oppressive King Edward I of England.

We all desire to be free and to truly live our lives as we are meant to live them. We can try to achieve this in different ways. We can see that the Scots tried to achieve political freedom through fighting a war against the English. Moses tells Israel to observe the Lord’s statutes and decrees “that [they] may live and may enter in and take possession of the land” that God gives them. But more than land and space to live, the first reading for Aug. 30 shows us that God and his law bring true freedom.

At that time, God freed the Israelites from the oppression of the Egyptians and promised them a new land they could call their own. Before they could enter, Moses told the people that they must observe God’s laws and decrees so that they may live truly free in that land, and so to “take possession” of that land. Observing the law would bring true freedom for the Israelites, but after living in the Promised Land for some time, the Israelites fell into the slump of idolatry — not following the laws and decrees God gave them, which ultimately led to their exile.

Sometimes we find ourselves in similar situations. Living in the land of the free might bring some of us to take for granted the joys and liberties that we have here in America. In order for us to avoid oppression, we must “be sober and alert for the devil is prowling like a roaring lion looking for a soul, a people to devour and oppress” (1 Peter 5:8). Like Wallace in the movie “Braveheart,” we might also have to fight for these enjoyed freedoms. We certainly need to fight to keep the devil from ourselves, our families and even our communities. This can be done through prayer, fasting, having good Catholic friends and being involved with the Church community.

Since God’s law brings true freedom, whenever his law is violated it brings oppression. When this happens, we need to fight to defend God’s law so as to regain our true freedom, enabling us to live authentic lives as he intended from the beginning. The laws and decrees from God are truly a gift, bringing us freedom and joy. Let us not be afraid to step up and fight for this gift.

Deacon Zabinski is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His teaching parish is
St. John the Baptist in Jordan. His home parish is St. Charles Borromeo in St. Anthony.


Sunday, Aug. 30
Twenty-second Sunday in Ordinary Time


Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-8

James 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27

Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23

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Category: Sunday Scriptures