HARVEST OF FREEDOM, By Fr Oluwafemi Victor Orilua, CSSp


Micah 7:14-15,18-20, Luke 15:1-3,11-32


Man might become a threat to himself and others if allowed to exercise his freedom to full capacity. This is because human desires are insatiable, and his wandering thoughts have no boundary.

According to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, in his book, “Social Contract” (1762), he argued that “individuals surrender their individual wills to the general will of the community in order to ensure the common good.”

Jean-Jacques further stated that “religion can be used by those in authority to manipulate and control the masses, leading them to submit their individual freedoms in the name of obedience to a higher power.”

Certainly, if man does not consider the common good of his community, his freedom will make him infringe on the rights of others. Nevertheless, those in charge of the community ought to ensure that they guarantee the total wellbeing of all who have submitted their lives for the good of the community. This becomes possible if those in authority can imitate God. He is the only one who can effectively manage our excesses and give us a guide so we can use our freedom responsibly. If our leaders should appeal to religious sentiments when they impose their own will on the people, what they will produce eventually, is a kingdom of injustice.

However, we encounter in today’s reading, a father whose hands are ever open to receive his children despite the magnitude of  their sins. His demonstration of love shows  that true freedom is found in the home. The home should be welcoming and filled with hospitality. It is a place where everyone finds his or her own position in spite of the shortcomings each individual may have. True freedom is to stay in the father’s house, to know the rules of  the house and to know the ways of the Lord.

Community leaders are encouraged to be like this loving father, who will never want to lose any of his children. Leaders are expected to work towards creating a community where submission is not seen as a tool for manipulation, but rather a place where the collective will of the people is harmonized for the collective good.

We pray that our leaders will work towards creating a community that can support the rehabilitation of citizens and easy reintegration of members who may go astray. Amen.



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