“Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Romans 6:16)
According to Pope St. John Paul II, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” To be free is to be able to make the right choices always. The opposite of freedom is slavery. Slavery is not just the condition of being held against one’s will, it is also the condition of lacking the capacity to do what is right.
St. Paul tells us today that we could be slaves to sin if we find ourselves unable to say “No” to temptations. This kind of slavery is more deadly than physical slavery; it is knowing that something is very bad, yet going all the way to still do it. Many Christians find themselves held in this vicious cycle; they regret their sinful actions but no sooner had they repented, they find themselves doing the very things they had promised not to do ever again.
St. Paul perfectly understood this dilemma when he wrote: “I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do… Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (Romans 7:18-24).
In the Stations of the Cross we read: “My will is mine” meaning, your willpower belongs entirely to you. You are either a slave of sin or a slave of God. You can always determine who will be your Master and you can only have one Master. If you desire to be free from slavery to sin, you must subject yourself completely to God.
St. Paul says: “Do not yield your members to sin as an instrument, but yield yourselves to God”. Jesus explains in today’s Gospel passage, become like a steward (or slave) waiting for his Master’s arrival. Let no part of your body ever be used for sin.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus Christ, take my heart, my body and my mind; rule me. Amen.
Bible Study: Romans 6:12-18, Psalm 124 and Luke 12:39-48).