THOSE who were captured by the Romans in their many wars were brought back to Rome in chains and sold into slavery. They were put on the auction block and then sold to the highest bidder. Tullius was a noble Roman who did not believe in slavery and did what he could to prevent it. He went to the slave market one day and saw a captive for sale. He took pity on him and bid for him. Since Tullius was the highest bidder the man became his slave. Tullius brought the man to his house and ordered the chains to be stricken from his wrists and ankles. Then he said to the man,
"You are free to go your way." The man said,
"But I am your slave. You bought me." Tullius I replied,
"I bought you only in order to set you free. You are no longer a slave. Go your way in freedom."
The man was so overcome by the kindness of Tullius that he said through his tears, " Since you have set me free, I will serve you freely." Tullius by his kindness gained not a slave but a friend. This reminds us of the words of Christ to the Apostles, "I will no longer call you servants but friends." It reminds us of the freedom wherewith God has made us free, it reminds us that Redemption means a buying back.
When Christ redeemed us He paid a great price. He bought us from the slavery of sin by laying down His life on the cross for us. Instead of being slaves of sin, by that purchase we became the slaves of Christ. But like Tullius in the story, Christ says, "I bought you only in order to set you free. I will not call you slaves, but friends. "In return for this our words should be the same as the man who was freed. "Since you have set me free, I will serve you freely."
We can solve all of our problems by asking ourselves, "What does Christ want me to do?" We get an answer immediately. We are wondering whether we should see a movie which the Legion of Decency says is not fit for children to see or for anyone to see for that matter. Just ask " What does Christ want me to do?" You have your answer at once. You find that it is easy for you to steal from your mother's pocketbook or to shortchange her. " What does Christ want me to do?" You have your answer at once. You find that it is possible to commit a sin of impurity without being caught. "What does Christ want me to do?" You know the answer to that. You feel like hopping into bed without saying your night prayers. "What does Christ want me to do?" Say your prayers. He bought us in order to set us free. He no longer calls us slaves but friends. That is why we should serve Him freely.