Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 30, 2019 – Year C
Readings: 1 Kgs 19:16B, 19-21 / Ps 16 / Gal 5:1, 13-18 / Lk 9:51-62
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor
Four days from now we will celebrate the Fourth of July, and it is a privilege to wake up each morning knowing that we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave and the greatest nation on earth.
It is also great news that the importance of our Lord God and Creator is acknowledged in the Declaration of Independence. Once again let us remind ourselves of these two lines from the Declaration:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
Our founding fathers who signed this Declaration of Independence supported their words with their actions. Five of them were captured by the British as traitors and were eventually tortured before they were killed. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned, and nine of them, along with thousands of men and women, fought and died of their wounds or hardships during the American Revolution.
This reminds us that freedom is never free. It was bought for a very big price. The Fourth of July has more to it than fireworks, concerts, beer, picnics, and baseball: It is the product of blood and sacrifice.
In today’s second reading, taken from the letter of St. Paul to the Galatians, the apostle said, “For freedom Christ set us free. So stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”
In the Gospel of John, Jesus said, “Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.” But God Our Father loves us so much that he sent us His only begotten Son to save us from this type of slavery.
But as we know, our redemption was definitely not free. The Lord Jesus had to be crucified on the cross in exchange for our freedom. Every time we celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and all the other sacraments may we always have in mind that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ had to suffer and die to give us these channels of His grace, so that we may have freedom in the complete sense of the word.
As the Lord Jesus Himself puts it, “If the Son of God sets you free, then you are truly free.”