Good morning, happy Wednesday, and many blessings.
The gospel today (John 8:31-42) is a continuation of the conversation Jesus had with the Jews in yesterday’s gospel. His reference to making His word our home causes us to reflect on the meaning of “home”. Where do we find ourselves mostly at home? You could also ask with whom do you find yourself mostly at home? The acceptance of the indwelling of God in our hearts is a privileged place of home for us. From the experience of this indwelling, we can be constantly at home in whatever place we are, or whatever company we are in.
The Jews were upset that Jesus implied they were not really free. It is the same for Western society, for our hard won freedom is our greatest pride. I may find the same reaction in myself too, so I ask God to help me see myself as I really am, with all my freedoms and areas that lack freedom. I reflect that it is my faith in God’s great mercy that makes me free to look at myself in truth, and continue to deal with my lack of freedom, especially in my relationships.
Also, in this Gospel Jesus says to the 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.”
Jesus stresses the importance of keeping his word. Doing this shows that one is a genuine follower of his. It means having the truth – or seeing things like God. This also means being free – from all dark deceptions. There is much to ponder over in this.
Jesus’ hearers were puzzled about becoming free, since they thought that they never were slaves. His answer to them applies to us all: “everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin”. The basic sin is not to accept him, the Son of God.
Jesus points out to the Jews that, even if they regard Abraham as their spiritual father, they have not his spirit. They could not grasp at all that he had been sent by the Father and all that was implied in that.
Take a moment and ask yourself: Do you “remain in Jesus’ word”? How do you do this? Do you take time to read the Scripture, the Gospels? More importantly, do you strive to embody Jesus’ word? At times, it may be difficult to know what it means to remain in Jesus’ word. Today I invite you to choose a phrase or sentence of this Gospel and slowly repeat the phrase or sentence aloud or in your mind for five to seven minutes.
After you have done this, sit quietly for another few minutes. When you are ready, open your eyes and thank Jesus for being with you today. Allow Jesus’ word to remain in you throughout your day. You may realize that simply remaining in Jesus’ word is the best gift you can give yourself and the world.