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 a 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
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are life and truth and
goodness. You are also peace and mercy. How grateful
I am to have this moment to turn to
you. Without you I can do nothing good. In fact,
when I do good, it is you working through
me, despite my failings. Thank you, Lord. Here I am
ready to love you more.
Petition: Grant me the
grace, Lord, to remain in your word and to be
set free by your truth.
1. A Vibrant Faith:
Faith isn’t real until it touches our attitudes and,
above all, our concrete choices. To “remain” in the
word of Christ means to conform our lives with his
life and his virtues, especially the virtue of charity,
which is the very essence of Christian doctrine and
morality. To “remain” in his word is, as some would
say, “to walk the walk.” In another passage we
are told that it is not those who say “Lord,
Lord…” who will enter the Kingdom, but only
those who actually do the Father’s will in their lives.
Remaining in his word is the stuff of sanctity
– it’s also the stuff of daily perseverance and
of knowing how to get up, dust ourselves off, and
begin again each time we falter or fall along
the way. How well do I “remain” in Christ’s word?
Could an impartial observer see from my attitudes and
actions that I follow Christ?
2. A True Disciple Lives
the Truth: Christ seems to imply that there are true
and false disciples. There is only one way to
tell the difference between the two: whether one actually
embraces his word not only as an ideal, but also
as a rule of life. Today a plethora of
voices, even within the Christian community, would have us follow
a purely “therapeutic” Christianity – a form of Christianity
in which we can supposedly believe in Christ while
adopting behaviors or attitudes which are totally opposed to
his “way” of discipleship as taught authoritatively by the
Church. The temptation to separate faith and practice is never
far from us. How much have these false voices
impacted my own understanding of what it means to
follow Christ as a member of his body, the Church?
3. Authentic Freedom: The freedom promised by Christ to those
who remain in his word is much deeper than
the freedom offered by the world. Christ’s freedom is not
simply a political freedom. Neither is it the ability
to choose whatever I want, when I want, and
how I want. The freedom of Christ’s disciple is
spiritual, moral, and interior; it is the freedom for which
every person longs in the depths of his heart.
And only Christ gives this kind of freedom.
with Christ: >Thank you, Lord, for the freedom you
have given me! With it I could seek happiness
in broken vessels of clay, forgetting you, the fountain
of living waters. You could have made me not free....
But thus you have created me, and I want
to be free. I want to know how to be
free. I want to demonstrate that I am free,
with the most sovereign act of my freedom: Lord,
since I am free, I give my freedom, my will,
to you, so that your will may be done.
Resolution:I will exercise my freedom responsibly, as Christ would
have me do.