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free indeed

This Sunday’s Gospel begins with Mary Magdalene seeing that the stone had been rolled away and that the tomb was empty.

It’s exactly what we need to see in our own lives this Sunday, as well as every day. The next few days will give you plenty to think about, reflect on, and apply to your life. I want to offer you something simple: live in freedom.

There is a great, true story I heard from a friend about a panda who was born in the wild but spent much of his life in captivity. All day, as visitors looked on and animal experts did their studies, this panda would walk back and forth in his enclosure. 30 feet to the left, then 30 feet to the right. Over and over. Day after day.

After many years, the panda was going to be released back into the wild. When they drove him way out into the wilderness and opened the back of the truck, they expected him to scurry off into the large expanse of nature that he used to call home.

Instead, he slowly climbed out and started walking to the right. Then, after 30 feet, he stopped, turned around, and walked back. After 30 feet, he turned and did the same thing. Over and over. Day after day.

Why? Because even though he had been set free, his limitations were set in his mind. He wasn’t living how he was created to live, but the boundaries became familiar to him, so he stayed within them.

For many of us, this is a reflection of our own spiritual lives and how it impacts the way we live.

We’ve been set free, but we stay in bondage. We’ve been carrying some burdens for so long that we don’t know what our shoulders would feel like without them so we just keep carrying them.

We’re waiting for something in this world to make us feel worthy and valuable, but we forget that Jesus thought we were worth going to the cross for.

We’re waiting for permission to step out of darkness and into the light, but we were already given that permission, and strength, when Jesus stepped out of the grave.

We were made for abundant life, but the truth is that we often settle for less. It’s not simply that ‘more’ isn’t offered to us - we just get into habit of accepting ‘less’.

This Easter, let us remember that we have been set free - and let us choose to live in that freedom.

“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are an Easter people and hallelujah is our song.” — St. John Paull II

We’re praying for you this Triduum. Let’s talk after Easter.

Dom and Joe  

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