March 16, 2016
Wednesday in the Fifth Week of Lent
“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” – John 8:31b-32
The Pharisees’ response makes it clear that they understand Jesus to be speaking of an exterior freedom: “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone.” But Jesus is speaking of an interior freedom, one that has to do with being released from sin: “Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin… So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.”
I think we all know from experience that sin – be it our own or of those around us – weighs us down and hinders us from being the people God would have us be. Sin turns the colors of our life into a uniform grey, it flattens out the otherwise variegated texture of our lives. Sin enslaves us. Jesus offers us release from enslavement: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” Continuing in his word, being his disciples and knowing truth sets us on the path to freedom.
It may seem a small thing to be released from the enslavement to sin, something that pertains only to us individually. But being released from sin – be it our own or that of those around us – is potentially world-changing. When we are set free from sin – when we are released from this interior enslavement – we are open to more fully receiving God’s immense, unconditional, never-ending love for us. And receiving this love amazing things can happen. When we receive God’s love we are freed to be the people God created us to be; we are released to carry out the mission God has given us to do; we become agents of God’s love who carry God’s love out beyond ourselves and into the world beyond.
If you would be set free and receive this love, keep coming back. Keep on “keeping on” hearing God’s word and receiving God’s sacraments. For as we continue in his word and become his disciples, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.