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Jul 03, 2013

I'm looking forward to a wonderful weekend with family and friends! Given the 4th of July holiday, I'll be able to take a few extra days off and enjoy all the sights and sounds Chicago has to offer. Fun, food, and fellowship will undoubtedly be part of the celebrations. As they should be. God has gifted this country with an abundance of blessings!

As fireworks blast off, families and friends gather, and food simmers on the barby, I hope you'll take some time to consider what this freedom means.

Are the celebrations about our individual freedoms? Has this become a jubilation of personal rights? There's a certain "it's all about me" in that approach. While upholding the dignity and worth of all people, wouldn't it be a better celebration if we focused on what freedom means to us as a collective people, under one flag? Better yet, for Christians, under one God? For Catholics, one Church.  

To be sure, there is much banter today about freedoms, rights, equalities and protections. As this should be, too.

But what about our responsibilities? I can't help but think of Luke 12:48, "to whom much is given much is required." We've been given much, indeed! 

To what have we been entrusted and for what purpose?

Where are our riches, gifts and talents, experiences calling us?

I think these are the types of reflections freedom brings. They are both personal questions and communal ones.

It seems that, in true paradoxical fashion, the more we live for others the more free we become.

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shinning sea!  
Ryan J. Hoffmann, Senior Director of Enrollment Management | | 773.371.5523