by Bishop Celes A. Gianan, DD, PhD

HOLY WEEK each year is best suited for an in-depth understanding of FREEDOM and FREEWILL made evident in the PASCHAL MYSTERY, that is, in the PASSION, DEATH, and RESURRECTION of Christ – HOW Jesus Christ went THROUGH all of these during the PASCHAL TRIDUUM, known as a THREE-DAY PILGRIMAGE FEAST which starts on the evening of Holy Thursday through Good Friday which culminates on Easter Vigil and ends with evening vesper of Easter Sunday. We wish to see FREEDOM AND FREEWILL at work in Jesus all throughout this PASCHAL TRIDUUM which, ultimately, brings us to its IN-DEPTH UNDERSTANDING, thereby, saying, that one without the other has no meaning at all.

TRUE FREEDOM is not a FACULTY given to MAN to make a CHOICE as in “I can do whatever I want because I am free” nor an OCCASION given to MAN to enjoy a CHOICE as in “I am free to choose”.


What, then, is TRUE FREEDOM?

TRUE FREEDOM is a PRODUCT of the proper exercise of God-given FREEWILL, that is, the WILL or the DRIVE TO BE FREE, not to choose to be free.

TRUE FREEDOM is a PRODUCT of ALWAYS  THINKING of what is RIGHT, not choosing to think what is right; PRODUCT of TREASURING that which is RIGHT, not choosing to treasure that which is right; PRODUCT of DOING THINGS RIGHT, not choosing to do THINGS RIGHT.

This paradigm is taken in the light of our belief that, indeed, the CHOICE belongs to God made known in what the Lord says “You have not chosen Me, I have chosen you”, “I am your God, you are My people”.

The RESPONSE to the CHOICE of God belongs to MAN.

It is only in RESPONDING to the CHOICE of God, who is the source of ALL-RIGHTEOUSNESS, ALL-GOODNESS, and ALL-FAITHFULNESS that man becomes and is FREE, thus, enjoys the FRUITS of his FREEWILL, the WILL to be FREE.

Mind us, God, in the beginning and from the beginning of creation as scripted in the Book of Genesis 2: 16-17, INSTRUCTED man, saying, “You may eat of every tree in the garden FREELY, but of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you will not eat, for on the day you eat of it, you will die”. From the very beginning, God has prohibited MAN from being faced with what is GOOD and EVIL, meaning, GOD prohibited MAN from having a KNOWLEDGE of and from making a CHOICE between what is good and evil. God prohibited MAN from having a SIGHT and a KNOWLEDGE of what is GOOD and what is EVIL from the beginning of creation.

Sad to say,  we, people, have lost sight of this and have ignored THIS PROHIBITION scripted as a SACRED TEXT in the Book of Genesis.


We have been used to MAKING CHOICES claiming that we are in possession of FREEDOM in life and, therefore, we are entitled to make CHOICES but which, in effect, WEAKENS our SENSE OF CONVICTION and DETERMINATION in life and, much worst, WEAKENS our FAITH in God and drives us apart from Him. It WEAKENS our sense of CARE for His creation. It WEAKENS our sense of POWER in a world beset by various forms of graft and corruption. It WEAKENS our sense of RESPONSIBILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, and TRANSPARENCY in the work-place and work-force.

MAKING CHOICES weakens our PERCEPTION “of ALL”, “over ALL”, “through ALL” and “in ALL” – phrases by which we know our God the Father (Ref. Ephesians 4: 6).

The PROPER exercise of FREEWILL strenghtens our SENSE OF PERCEPTION and ENJOYMENT of FREEDOM. St. Paul the Apostle exhorts us in Galatians 5: 1, saying, “Christ freed us to make us REALLY free. So, remain FIRM and do not subject again to the yoke of slavery”. What this exhortation is exhorting us to is that the TRUE MARK OF FREEDOM is PURE CONVICTION and FIRM DETERMINATION which keep us REALLY FREE.

In the PASCHAL MYSTERY of Jesus Christ, He has shown to the world as ONE who WILLED to be FREE as He went through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. He exercised His FREEWILL, the WILL of God in Him (Ref. Luke 22:42), and gained His FREEDOM and stood by it for the BENEFIT of humankind, REDEEMED, no longer FALLEN.

Let us, then, bring ourselves BACK to   the ORIGINAL INSTRUCTION God has in store for us all from the beginning of creation to our reigning generation if only to make us see the “Fusion of Horizons” that connects  FREEDOM and FREEWILL, a “Fusion of Horizons” that does away MAKING OF CHOICES between what is good and evil.

FREEDOM and FREEWILL go together that one without the other has no meaning at all. God loves us all. – Bishop Celes

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