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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Wednesday of the 5th week of Lent Download This Homily

April 1, 2020

Wednesday of the 5th week of Lent


Daniel 3: 14-20, 91-92, 95

Daniel 3:29-30, 31, 33, 32, 34

John 8: 31-42


Gospel Reading


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


The Truth Will Make You Free


The truth shall make you free – is the subject of the two readings today. That legendary story of Daniel illustrates the four freedoms that men cherish: freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want in the bold answers given by Daniel to the king.


The Jewish people were proud of their freedom – the freedom to serve only the Lord by obeying the covenant. But in this scene Jesus is offering them freedom implying the need for liberation. As ‘descendant of Abraham’ they find it offensive. They assume that being children of Abraham automatically makes them children of God. John has already written: To be a child of god is not a matter of physical descent. It is a matter of receiving God’s Word and believing in him (Jn 1:12-12). Here are reminded that we would not become authentic Christians just through baptism nor become genuine consecrated persons just by professing evangelical counsels.


‘The truth will make you free’ is, however, a hard medicine. The worst type of slavery is not the external but being slaves into ourselves. It takes different forms. The blind observance of manmade statutes at the cost of His will, love and mercy and leading a life according to the flesh generating bad habits in us enslave us. Jesus wishes to free us from this kind of slavery by walking in his light. This is a hard way since we have to carry our own daily crosses in the manner Jesus carried his cross totally surrendering to the Will of the Father, but Jesus adds my yoke is easy and burden is light.


We would, however, prefer to be free by an easier method by escaping the harder realities. We have multiplied and varied the means of escape in the modern world. Many of our technical advances are means of escaping not only from the past but also from the present. However, the inner healing in psychotherapy depends on a return to the truth of ourselves. The principle is that it is not by escaping a question that we come to the answer, but by going deeply into it; it is not by escaping a problem that we solve it, but by staying with it. If I am running away from the problem I will be unhappy and frightened resulting in more problems for us and others. It takes a lot of living to finally discover that each of us is in bondage to ourselves. It is our desires, angers and arrogance that enslave us, not anyone else.  Ultimately it is only truth that sets us free.


In our spiritual life, the truth that we are children of God can liberate us from the seductive attractions of this world. The truth that we are guilty of sin can make us humble and lead us back into the forgiving arms of God and sensitivity towards the fellowmen. The truth that we all belong to God’s household can inspire us to live like brothers and sisters in love, concern and unity. The truth that Jesus is Risen gives us great hope and energy to lead a fullness of life.


For the followers of Jesus true freedom is the power to know and live what is right, true and good. Jesus offers his disciples true freedom – freedom from fear, selfishness, prejudice, self-righteousness.  The good news sets us free from these obstacles. True freedom is a gift of the Holy Spirit given to those of goodwill who lead a life in accordance with own conscience.  


 Dr. Fr. John Ollukaran CMI





Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

May God Bless you

Fr. James M L CMI

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.