True Disciples and being Abraham’s Children

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Wednesday Of The Third Week In Ordinary Time

(Republic Day)

John 8:31-41

This Chapter in John’s Gospel is where Jesus Identifies himself as the Light of the World. Within this context when we reflect on a few of the statements in this gospel passage, we understand the full import of what is being said and discussed in this passage.

 “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples,

Means that Jesus’ disciple is one who lives and abides by the his teachings.

 

and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Jesus’ teaching tells the truth as God sees it, not as humanity sees it. This truth is the fundamental truth which comes from God. And it carries the quality of the Creator God, in that it is all good and all freeing. It carries the reality and understanding of who each person is, and how s/he is loved and cared for by God without class or distinction.

 

But those who were gathered around Jesus did not understand the full relevance of Jesus’ words, and they associate it with the election of Abraham and his progeny as God’s people.  They misremembered here their enslavement in Egypt, and God’s redeeming grace. Forgotten here is the fall from grace of their Judges and Kings, their subsequent deportation and exile to Babylon and their frightful suffering during the Maccabean period, which still was there in the form of Roman rule.

Jesus explains that the bondage and freedom he is speaking of is that of Sin and Sonship of God. One who is in sin experiences multiplied suffering, because sin forces its prisoner/slave to continue in sin and be its subject. This is much like the Egyptians Pharaoh who forced the Hebrews to do menial work and acquire a menial self identity, which they could not overcome, in spite of all the Miracles he did for them in their Exodus experience.

Rather Jesus says; remember the parable of the Prodigal Father, who only looked at his sons, as his sons, and part of himself. For him, what they were was not important as long as they were part of him. Hence their identity was that of being sons.

 

This Republic day, lets reflect on this perfect Gospel passage. Let us not revel in pride and self glorification, but in all humility like the Prodigal Son say, let me come before our Father in Heaven, and say “Father, we are not worthy, but in your love, bring us in your presence, and impart to us the freedom that come from your presence.”

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