True Freedom Will Cost You

I am sure you have read or heard of the phrase “lottery curse”. This phrase refers to the people who won millions in a lottery, and through their millions, found a different taste for freedom. Unfortunately, their lottery turned into a curse, for the mismanagement of their new freedom returned them to deeper poverty. The money became their license to drugs, sex, lavish lifestyles, that in the end either lead them to impoverished life or to death. That is why the phrase should catch our attention: lottery curse! Just in the same way, freedom could be a curse. But only when it is not true freedom.

I think of the Israelites who had been in slavery for over 400 years in Egypt. Yahweh freed them and set them on the course to real freedom in the promised land of Canaan. As you read in today’s reading (Exodus, 17: 3-7), they murmured against Moses for bringing them out of Egypt, just because they could not find water along the way. They even dreamed of going back to Egypt and asked Moses to take them back. It is as if they were protesting God for setting them free! As much as people talk of freedom, not many want to be truly free. If anyone truly wants to be free, he or she would do anything possible to shake off any shackle that would keep him imprisoned emotionally, physically, spiritually, or even financially.

That’s why it is important to find out what you really are thirsting for. All the Israelites who came from Egypt died on the way for lack of determination and hope for true freedom which Yahweh would give to them. Jesus knew that the woman at the well thirsted for true freedom, which is love, and gave it to her (Jn. 4:5-15). True freedom will cost you everything if you sincerely thirst for it. As with the Samaritan woman, Our Lord is always present to quench our thirst for true freedom and love, if that is what we truly desire. Take time this week to ask yourself the question: do I really want to be free?


~Fr. Okeke