St. Paul continues today in speaking of the life of sin as a life of slavery. At the very outset, he apologizes for the image that he uses but excuses himself because his listeners will not understand if he does not make it very simple.
A slave is someone who has no time of his own. All of his time belongs to his master. He does not have the freedom to put his feet up at the end of a hard day. He does not have time to relax because his time is not his own. He belongs totally to his master.
Using this image, St. Paul asks us to consider how slavery to sin occupies all of our time. That is why he urges his listeners to become slaves of Christ. In so doing, they will find time to pursue holiness rather than sin. If we are slaves of Christ, we lack the time to spend in idle and sinful pursuits. One who is a slave to Christ has time only for pursuing justice, patience, love, moderation, and all of the other virtues that St. Paul evokes in his letters.
The bonds that unite us to Christ are the bonds of love. This kind of slavery is full of joy because its pursuits are the holiness that will bring us Christ’s joy and will make that joy complete. Those who come to be fed here eat the bread of justice and drink the blood of sacrifice. We become inseparable from Christ who is our freedom.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator