10 April 2019. Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Reflection (Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura)
I focus my reflection on today’s Gospel on the Word. What is in the word of Jesus that made us follow Him? What is in the word of Jesus that when we remain in His word, we will be set free? And free from what? Jesus said in the Gospel that it is sin that enslaves us and keeps us from following Him as what we see in the accusations of the Pharisees against Him.
Usually when what one says happened or occurred, we relate it to the expression “nagdilang-anghel.” But in reality, words are mighty and effective when one listens to them through his or her heart. “Listening is a theological act,” Cardinal Tagle said in his intervention during last year’s synod on youth which Pope Francis affirmed. When we listen and remain in the words of Christ, we will be able to discern well and so we will be sufficiently free to follow the Lord.
However, when we commit sin towards God and our neighbors, we tend to keep ourselves away from the Lord?we cut ties with our friends, we do not listen anymore to our parents, we want to be alone. But Jesus is telling us that He is the mediator to the Father in Heaven. His exemplary life is our model of obeying the will of the Father.
Moreover, Jesus has already saved us once and for all. What earns us heaven is belonging to Christ. We are given freedom and yet this freedom is also a responsibility to bear. Our goal here on earth is not just to save our soul but to also help others attain salvation through Christ. Jesus mediates for us so that we will all be there with the Father in Heaven. There we will constantly praise and exalt God forever.
The Gospel Today
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 the 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 me.”