In this Wednesday’s Gospel from the 8th Chapter of John, our Lord continues in His dangerous back-and-forth arguing with His adversaries and reluctant believers at the Temple :
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. If the Son frees you, then you will truly be free. I know 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.”
But they just don’t understand. They refuse to believe Him! They even fail to realize that their ancestors actually were once slaves in Egypt and in Babylon. Jesus tells them that even now they are enslaved by their sins and, most importantly, He offers to truly free them. But they have no room in their hearts to accept the truth that Jesus brings to them, because they are full of what the ” father of lies ” has put there. So they are ready to do violence to Him.
I try to imagine the countenance of Jesus during these interchanges with His detractors. Did this take place in front of many witnesses? How many of the people were on the Lord’s side? Was our Lord ” losing ” them? Was He worried that His message, His ” truth ” would eventually be rejected by most of the people? Did He already know that only through His Passion and Resurrection would the world realize the Truth?
And His attitude towards these folks? Was it one of anger or haughtiness, or was it one of humility and concern? I used to wonder. I used to be afraid of Jesus and His power to ” judge the living and the dead “. How many times haven’t I argued with Him in my mind about so many teachings in the Gospel, voice to Him my doubts and confusions!
I know that I am a slave of my opinions, habits, comforts, and sins. But I love Him. I cannot live without Him. So I beg Him to forgive me again and again, for I do believe in one thing to be the truth: Himself, the Lord of Life, my Savior. And I truly believe that His ” word ” is Love. This is what I have felt when He has touched my heart so many times now. I need to remain in that Love . There is nowhere else for me to go.
Lord, set me free to love you like you deserve.