St. Paul, in his poignant letter to Philomen, speaks of his heart being “refreshed” because of the beautiful way that people can treat each other. Love is the power that refreshes weary souls and quenches thirsty hearts. Paul received Onesemis, a slave of Philomen, in his care as his brother in Christ. He sends him back to his “owner” not as slave but as brother, equal in all things.
The world needs us to be people who refresh those around us with attitudes that are open and welcoming. Each one of us can be a prisoner of our own emotions, immobilized by bitter memories and crushed spirits. The slave Onesimus became a complete human being to Paul because Paul allowed himself to be changed. To be a prisoner of one’s own imagination is a reality equal to hell.
We long to live in the freedom of Christ’s Spirit, an experience that frees the human spirit to soar. We are refreshed and this refreshment becomes contagious. Our world and our country need to be “infected” with this spreading refreshment.