04 April 2011


From a Homily on the Book of Exodus by Origen:

'The Lord is a Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom' (2 Cor 3, 17). How can we attain freedom, we who serve the world, who serve money, who serve the desires of the flesh? I correct myself; I judge myself; I make known my faults. Let those who hear see what they perceive about themselves.

I, meanwhile, say that as long as I am devoted to any of these things I have not turned to the Lord nor have I followed freedom as long as such affairs and cares bind me. I am a slave of that affair and care to which I am bound. For I know that is written that 'by what each one is conquered, to this also he is delivered as a slave' (cf 2 Petr 2, 19).

Even if love of money does not overcome me, even if the care of possessions and riches does not bind me, nevertheless I desire praise and follow human glory, if I depend on the expressions and words of men, what this man feels about me, how that man regards me, lest I displease this man, if I please that one. As long as I seek those things I am their slave.

But I would want to try at least, if I might be able to be freed from this, if I might be able to be released from the yoke of this foul slavery and attain freedom in accordance with the admonition of the Apostle who says: 'You have been called to freedom; do not become the slaves of men' (Gal 5, 13 & 1 Cor 7, 23). But who will give me this freedom? Who will free me from this most unseemly slavery except Him Who said: 'If the son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed' (Io 8, 36).

Let us serve faithfully, and 'let us love the Lord our God with our whole heart and with our whole soul and with our whole strength' (cf Mc 12, 30), that we might deserve to be given freedom by Jesus Christ.