March 16, 2016

Gospel JN 8:31-42
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham
and have never been enslaved to anyone.
How can you say, ‘You will become free’?”
Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.
A slave does not remain in a household forever,
but a son always remains.
So if the Son frees you, then you will truly be free.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham.
But you are trying to kill me,
because my word has no room among you.
I tell you what I have seen in the Father’s presence;
then do what you have heard from the Father.”
They answered and said to him, “Our father is Abraham.”
Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children,
you would be doing the works of Abraham.
But now you are trying to kill me,
a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God;
Abraham did not do this.
You are doing the works of your father!”
So they said to him, “We were not born of fornication.
We have one Father, God.”
Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me,
for I came from God and am here;
I did not come on my own, but he sent me.”
Reflection:
“Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him,
“If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
What is this truth that Jesus speaks of that will set us free? Free from what?
“Jesus answered them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.”
To be a “slave” is to be held captive. Sin, by its very nature, must be kept secret and denied. Sin, in any of its forms, holds a person captive.
There is an old saying: “A person doesn’t have to remember the truth, but a secret must be remembered.” I knew a man who had to write his lies down and keep them in his wallet, so that he didn’t end up “trapping” himself in a lie.
God, of course, already knows all of our sins. This is why we often hide from Him; we cannot bear to have Him see us in our sinfulness.
Every untruth is a heavy burden.
The beauty of the confessional is by telling the “truth,” we lay down the heavy burden of our sins.
Only then are we able to utter the words, “Free at last! Free at last, God almighty, free at last!”
And only then are we prepared to see God face to face.
“Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.” Thomas Jefferson