Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent Reflection

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Today’s reflection was written by Brother Jim Malone, C.F.X.

“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.”

[John 8:31]

The Scripture passage of today is one that is probably familiar to most of us. How often have we in one way or another articulated that the truth will make us free. We say it, but what does it really mean for us? How does this work?

It helps our understanding of truth when we put this passage into its context. Jesus is speaking to a group of Pharisees who have belief in him. Perhaps many in that group were at the scene in the Temple just moments ago when the Pharisees dragged before Jesus the woman they had caught in adultery. Jesus challenges anyone in the group who is without sin to cast the first stone as prescribed by Moses. He writes something on the ground and one by one the accusers slink away. Jesus does not condemn the woman, but urges her to sin no more. Go, you are truly free because you know the truth.

It is to some of that group of Pharisees that Jesus addresses the words for today. He basically says two things to them: If you want to be my disciples, get comfortable with my word; when you become at home with my word, then you will recognize truth and in this recognition you will be free. The Pharisees answer back that they already are free because they are sons of Abraham. Then Jesus reminds them of the scene with the woman. Each one who dropped his stone was admitting to be a sinner. Aha! It is sin that keeps them and us from being truly free.

Each time we gather for Eucharist we begin by acknowledging we are sinners. Then, together, we become comfortable with the word of Jesus and together as sinners make Him present in our midst. We need to do nothing more. He assures us that our on-going comfort with his presence makes us disciples. We are now living Truth. He now is free to act through us because we are freely letting him direct our lives. Wherever we are even if on the margins of life, we are in communion with others through our comfort with Him.

 

Recommended Exercise

Next time you attend Eucharist give some special focus to the opening admission of being sinful and then settle in with God’s word. Experience being in truth and know that when you leave that assembly you are disciple.

 

Prayer

Awesome and powerful God, we ask for the courage to live the radical life of communion on the margins. Make us a home in the desert, so that we may manifest Your care and compassionate love to those who are marginalized among us. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our brother. Amen.

 

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