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Let Freedom Ring

Be on guard against the scribes who like to parade around in their robes and accept marks of respect in public
Mark 12:38-44 or 12:41-44

Sermon Topic Hypocrisy

Sermon Week Thirty-Second Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 12:38


The students in a fifth-grade class in American History were given an examination. Among the questions to be answered was the following: The Declaration of Independence was written chiefly by_______(fill in the blank). On one of the papers, a student had neatly penciled in, "Candlelight." The Declaration of Independence was written not chiefly by "candlelight" but chiefly by Thomas Jefferson, as we all know. It was Jefferson who gathered up in beautiful language the feelings and thoughts of his countrymen during that critical time in American History. It was Jefferson who expressed to the world the frustration the people were feeling over matters like "taxation without representation," and their firm resolve to be free and independent. Now, two hundred years later, that great document is being specially celebrated by a grateful people. For example, on July 4, 1976 thousands of persons lined up for hours at the National Archives Building in Washington just to catch a glimpse of the original. The document is America's basic symbol of what freedom and independence are all about. It is worth celebrating, year in and year out. But the one most important, most enriching, most fulfilling note that needs to be sounded in any freedom celebration has not been coming through "loud and clear." It is important for us to talk about this because the subject is central to the Biblical message about freedom.

The Biblical writers were very much aware of what a priceless gift freedom is. They understood also that, in itself, freedom is not the most important thing: the reality of God is the important thing. They knew that it is only through responsible use of freedom that the power of God is released to the benefit of mankind. They knew that when freedom is used irresponsibly, the channels of God's power are closed off.

Consider the Hebrew People coming out of Egypt, freed from slavery. They literally danced with joy. But one of the first things that Moses did to them after they had been set free was to hit them with the Ten Commandments-a description of how to use [...]

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