“A new king who knew nothing of Joseph came to power in Egypt” (Ex 1). People have often been concerned about political tyranny. The ancient Jews resented Pharaoh; Jesus’ contemporaries resented the Romans. One of the ironies of our time is that peoples who have gained freedom from political control have often fallen into a servitude that is far more demanding. They take on the lifestyle of developed nations, a lifestyle that enslaves their spirits.
The fact that we are free citizens of a highly developed country and that we have plenty of whatever material things we need cannot make us happy persons. We have to deal with the “Pharaoh within,” namely, ourselves and our dependencies on some things. Jesus said, “Do not suppose that my mission on earth is to spread peace. My mission is to spread, not peace, but division” (Mt 10). There is a war of liberation in our hearts. By it we are set free from our unwholesome attachments to persons and things and become able to love.
Liberate me, Lord, from myself, that is, from my own enslaving desires. Give me that freedom which makes me more like you, who are divinely free and loving.