Friday of the Third Week of Advent
(Judges 13:2-7.24-25a; Luke 1:5-25)
Technological gadgets seem to free people from traditional surveillance. Parents cannot readily see what kind of images their children are viewing in their telephones. At the same time other gadgets form a kind of technological leash that seems to impede liberation. With the IPhones capacity for self-location, wives can find out where their husbands are. These innovations leave a sense that freedom is a cat-and-mouse game, ever illusive even as it seems more at hand. But the problem is with the conception of freedom that is being considered. In the readings today there is a progression toward the true freedom that Christ has won.
The first reading from the Book of Judges describes the conception of Samson with God’s intervention. Samson is born late in life to a couple who were unable to conceive. Samson will lead Israel from the hegemony of the Philistines to political freedom. The story of John’s conception in the Gospel of Luke relates a similar kind of conception. John will eventually launch the campaign for a greater liberation which Jesus brings to completion.
Although political subjugation should never be dismissed, it is not the most grievous form of servitude. Sin forms a more serious bondage since it will place us outside of God’s favor. Jesus has broken the bonds of sin by obeying the Father’s will that he preach His love, come what may. Staying close to him, we are not ensnared by the attraction of evil. Close to him, we walk in true freedom of God’s daughters and sons.