On the Independence Day weekend we are invited to reflect on deeper meaning of our freedom and
responsibilities we carry out as American citizens. By signing the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, the Founding Fathers of America knew well the cost and the need for freedom from foreign powers.
They also recognized freedom as God’s given gift that had to be valued and protected. However, the Founding
Fathers also understood that freedom was not a license to do whatever people wanted but rather a condition for
responsible care and growth of American citizens.
As Catholic Christians we must even go farther beyond basic understanding of freedom from external
oppression. We should see that being independent and free serve the human flourishing—“the pursuit of
happiness” as it is stated in the Declaration—by growing in faith and virtuous life. Hence, first we must
recognize that freedom is for the sake of worship of One True God. That was the actual reason why the
Israelites were led out of slavery in Egypt. Moreover, according to our faith, without God we cannot find
authentic fulfillment or meaning of life. Secondly, freedom is for the sake of others. Basically, without freedom
human person can neither love nor act charitably towards others. It is thus not only freedom from external
oppression but also from internal constrains that lessen our capacity to develop. Only Jesus Christ offers that
kind of freedom in which we can develop our full human potential.
Our Blessed Lord invites us to experience it with very consoling words:
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
Despite the external freedom we still enjoy, there are so many today, who are enslaved or addicted to so
many things. And I am talking not only about drugs, alcohol or gambling; people can get addicted virtually to
anything. It seems like comfort, mere convenience, conformism, or even fashion are the greatest forms of
addiction and dependence in our society today. Christ sets are free from all of that, only if we come to Him and
trust Him. We must remember that Jesus’ way of living leads to freedom and is much more fulfilling than
anything else, as He promised in the Gospel:
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,
for I am meek and humble of heart;
and you will find rest for yourselves.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
If you feel like you cannot cope anymore with the life burdens and circumstances, just come to our Lord; He
will give you all you need. Moreover, He will make you truly free from sin, fear, and anxiety so that you may
live your life to its full potential. In our faith that means you become a saint.
Happy Independence Day! God bless America! Fr. Janusz Mocarski, Administrator