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.”
For many of us today, we are consumed in our busy schedules and numerous activities of our daily lives. Sometimes we “don’t have time” or we don’t allow ourselves to make time to settle down and listen in the silence to what Jesus is inviting us to accomplish. Take a minute now to close your eyes and take a deep breath. Relax and allow Jesus to enter your heart through this reflection.
In the gospel today, Jesus invites us to remain in his word. But what exactly is this invitation? What does it require of us? What are we supposed to do? I think it is an invitation to experience the living word of God. In other words, I mean Jesus is asking us to remain with others and recognize God within everyone we encounter.
Where will I see God today? Will I recognize him? Is God’s living word present in my life?
Often times God is present in the simple, everyday events that we do not expect. Maybe the living word of God will speak to you in the nextdoor neighbor who always complains to you, or the teacher who always “yells” at you to follow the rules, or the roommate whom you always find disagreements with. Either way, the truth is that God is present in your life and loves you. As Jesus asks us to remain in his word, he calls each of us to love one another as he loves us.
How do I treat others? Do I outwardly express my own inner reflection of God’s love? Am I displaying the truth and love for everyone I encounter? In the gospel today, there is a focus on the enslaving powers of sin. What sinful actions or ideas am I enslaved to today? Is it a busy schedule or a lack of time for prayer? Is it resentment and anger towards a friend, or a feeling of regret from unloving actions?
This gospel reminds us that Jesus took our sin and put it on the cross to save our lives. Jesus came from the father and is here for us. This Lent what are you doing to be Jesus for others and prevent further sin? How are you doing with your Lenten promises? What are you doing to express the saving and redeeming powers of Jesus for others?
Remember Jesus Loves You!