Liberty And Justice are not to be taken for granted. Countless times in human history and even now, in our own times, we have learned about or witnessed Liberty and Justice being seized from the common people. The denial of their liberties and justice itself by those with power is an ongoing characteristic throughout human history. When will you and I and all our brothers and sisters come to understand that our freedom as members of the human race is not to seized, controlled or granted by our fellow human beings. Rather, our Freedom and Justice is deeply rooted in the most ancient moments when God breathed life into Adam and Eve. The first of men and women knew nothing about oppression, or abuse of power. Then, sadly they came to discover sin. What kind of a life are you living? Are you a free person who seeks to uphold, sustain, protect and safeguard one’s own and others’ liberties and the universal quality of justice? Or, are you a person who is looking out for your own Number One Uno…ME at the expense of other people’s dignity, freedom and integrity? What kind of a person are you today? What kind of a person do you wish to become tomorrow? How will you achieve this desire? I pray you answered all these basic but profound questions with answers Christ Himself would place within the very depths of your heart and on the tip of your tongue. Are you living this one lifetime in the selfish ways of humanity? Or, are you living this one unearned gift of a lifetime in the image of Christ? Only you can ask and answer these questions truthfully?
Here are some ways in which you, as a faithful Catholic and disciple of Christ can more fully live out a liberated Christian life deeply rooted in Justice, Mercy and Love. First of all, love the Lord with all your heart, your whole soul and all your strength, and love your neighbor as yourself. You are not to kill, not to commit adultery; you are not to steal, nor to covet; you are not to bear false witness. You must honor everyone and never do to another what you do not want done unto yourself. Renounce yourself in order to follow Christ; discipline your body; do not pamper yourself, but love fasting. Serve the poor, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and bury the dead. Go to help the troubled and console the sorrowing. Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way; the love of Christ must come before all else. Bid your heart of all deceit, anger or revenge. Never turn away from another person, especially when one needs you. Be at peace with all. Speak the truth with tongue and heart. Do not return one bad turn with another. Do not injure anyone, but bear injuries patiently. Love your enemies. If people curse you, you do not curse them back, but bless them instead. Endure persecution for the sake of justice. You must not be proud, nor be given to drink. Refrain from too much eating or sleeping and from laziness. Do not grumble or speak ill unto others. Place your hope in God alone. Yearn for the everlasting life with holy desire. Devote time to Scripture and prayer. Pray for enemies out of your love for Christ. Never lose hope in God’s mercy. What the eye has not seen nor the ear heard, God has prepared for those who love Him. Toil faithfully in this one liberating way of Christ. Do so daily. In the end, be at peace within and with others. Forgive those who trespass against you. Know your own life is a holy, sacred and precious life. It is precisely God has created you out of Divine love and in His image and likeness; and God has a role for you to play in the unfolding of His kingdom here at hand. Be humbled by God’s infinite divine Justice, Mercy and Love. Become a liberated modern disciple of our dear Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Lastly, may each one of us become a person of greater faith, greater hope, greater love; and deeply rooted and humbling heartfelt awe and gratitude. AMEN.
-Father Michael Briese