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"Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made, whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet, flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe, and all the other musical instruments." —Daniel 3:15
Jesus wants us to be free, for He is the Truth (see Jn 14:6), the Son of Man, Who truly frees us (Jn 8:32, 36). When we renew our baptismal promises on the first day of Easter, we will proclaim our freedom from Satan and our freedom to believe in the Holy Trinity. During the Easter season, we profess and live the ultimate freedom of the risen life. Finally, the Easter season culminates in Pentecost, when Jesus' apostles and disciples were freed from their fears and unbelief to leave the upper room and lead three-thousand people to Baptism into Christ and into the newborn Church.
Jesus wants us to be free from the cues which trigger certain moods and behaviors. For example, King Nebuchadnezzar devised an orchestra to set the tone for his subjects to obey his commands to idolatry (Dn 3:15). Some music is still used to put us in the mood for sin, which is contrary to freedom (see Jn 8:34). TV and other visual stimuli can influence us to modify our behavior and thereby can rob us of our freedom. Nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and other substances can alter our consciousness in subtle yet enslaving ways.
As we treasure these last days of Lent, let us accept God's grace to clear out of our lives everything which can threaten our freedom, in particular any manipulations, promptings, or cues.
Prayer: Father, give me the freedom of Pentecost.
Promise: "Were God your Father you would love Me, for I came forth from God, and am here. I did not come of My own will; it was He Who sent Me." Jn 8:42
Praise: Joseph found prayer time with his wife more rewarding than the momentary relief of his former alcoholic binges.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, September 24, 2020
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