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Homily (Reflection) for Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent (16th March, 2016) on the Gospel

 

Dan 3:14-20.24-25.28;
Dan 3:52-56 (R. v. 52);
Jn 8:31-42.

Topic: Allegiance determines.

Imagine one promising a president’s son or daughter freedom from slavery yet he/she still goes wherever he/she wants. This might help us understand the scenario in today’s gospel in which Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They protested, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free?’”

Jesus went on to explain, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever.” In line with this, Saint Paul writes to the Romans, “you were slaves of sin” (Rom 6:20).

Nobody is free in a sense, one must either be the slave of God or of the enemy, cf. Rom 6:22; 7:4; Matt 11:28-30. Like the Jews who were surprised to hear that they were slaves, it is possible that some do not know where they belong.

That one is baptized (born-again) is not a enough certificate for heaven. Surely, the sacrament of baptism makes one among other things a child of God. However, it is important to remember that one can lose this position, cf. Rom 6:18; Gal 5:1. It is important also to remember as we make choices that “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 6:23). We are to live as free men and women, yet without using our freedom as a pretext for evil; but to live as servants of God, cf. 1Pt 2:16.

Bible Reading: Matt 11:28-30; 1Pt 2:11-17.

Thought for today: Are you free or a captive?

Let us pray: Lord, we ask you to make us free indeed – Amen.

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