SCRIPTURE (John 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."
How often in our Lenten journey, and frankly, in our life, do we know what the right thing is, and yet, we still choose the path of sin. We are aware of the truth, we know very well that we should help the poor, that we should give of our time, of our talent to those in need. We already know of our lazy habits in front of the TV or on our phone. And yet, we still often gravitate towards sin. In the Gospel today we hear Jesus' iconic words that ring throughout history like a clear beacon of hope for all those in darkness, ""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."
We hear the scriptures being read aloud on Sunday. We feel it in our prayers to God on a daily basis. We have learned the teachings and put them into action. We all intimately know the truth, the love, and the peace of Christ. However, when faced with our colleagues who are making fun of the outcast at the water cooler or in the coffee room; when we are called to give of our time, talent, and treasure to the Lord; when we make a Lenten promise to give up a food, a behavior, or an action, we know that these actions will bring us closer to Christ and will set us free. When these temptations come before us, can we rise above them? Can we take a new perspective and see through the sin, to the light that lies deep within each of us, the light of truth.
As we continue on our Lenten journey, let us consider a new perspective to help us see the truth. When facing a temptation, a moral question, or any other sin in our life, imagine the cross next to you. Would Jesus have died for what you are about to do? For we know the truth, and it will set us free. Free to love more, to sin less, and free to share God's love to all that we meet.
Pace e Bene, peace and all good in our Lenten journey.
These Lenten reflections are written by friends of 12plus1, Inc. Discovery House a service-based gap year experience for participants ages 18-20 will begin August 2018. Please share this information with an individuals who may want to participate or support this new ministry.
- What is the truth of your life?
- From what do you need to be set free?
Reflect on the truth of your life. Make a list of those things of which you are proud. Thank God for those gifts. Make a list of the characteristics you hope to improve. Ask God to offer you his grace to bring about change and healing.
Nate Friday is the Director of Campus Ministry at Dominican High School. He is a graduate of Cardinal Stritch University with a B.A. in Secondary Education and Broadfield Studies with a minor in Religious Studies. He was a four year starting pitcher for Cardinal Stritch and serves as the Varsity Baseball coach for Dominican.