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  • Sarah Beth Dippel



Independence Day weekend. All weekend we have been celebrating our freedom. Many of the usual festivities around Jackson were canceled due to the pandemic. While I didn't miss the pancake breakfast, I did miss the parade with so many local faces and the simple floats. After all those years of Mardi Gras in New Orleans, a simple local parade is my favorite.

Freedom in our country is a blessing. The right to free speech, the right to practice the religion we chose, the right to come and go freely from our homes are all the things we celebrate this weekend. While these rights seem so simple to us, they are indeed something to celebrate.

Jesus exclaims in today's Gospel; he is the way to freedom. He tells us when we go to Him, we will encounter the Father. At the beginning of the passage, we overhear His prayer to the Father. He reveals to us; the little ones know the way; they are meek and humble of heart like He is, finding rest in Him.

Perhaps it is our independent society that causes us to pause at the idea that we should hand over our freedom to someone else. We like to have control and do things our way. Well, some of us more than others. The Lord so clearly tells us today that growing in dependence on Him is true freedom. This idea of relying on someone else seems so opposite of what our society teaches us: not to depend on anyone, to take care of ourselves, to be self-sufficient, the list goes on. And yet, that is what the Lord tells us today, to lean on Him, to trust in Him, and to be present in the moment where we encounter Him and through Him, the Father, the loving Father, that cares for you and wants the best for you. When we rely on the Father and not ourselves, we will find the freedom we seek and the path to eternity with Him.

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