The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
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.”
Reflection (Sem. Sem. Ivan Joseph F. Feniquito)
Believe it or not, all of us are called by God to be His disciples. In fact, some of Jesus’ disciples were sinners. So whether good or bad, whatever your past may be, we are still called persistently by the Lord to be in His camp, to remain in Him, the source of truth that will set us free from the slavery to sin.
The source of truth is no other than Jesus. His words invite us to be united with Him, so that if we remain in His word, we become sons and daughters of God and we become free from the slavery to sin. For sin, according to Scott Hahn, in his book Lord, Have Mercy is “a transgression against almighty God… When we sin, we reject the love of God.” Indeed, sin separates us from God, our creator.
In our weakness, there is a tendency to follow our own desires. Self-centeredness causes us to remain slaves to sin. Then, as it progresses, there is a sense of doubt and suspicion in our minds for God. If we are away from God, frustrations and hopelessness follow.
In today’s Gospel, we are being reminded by Jesus that if we want to be with Him, responding to be His true disciples, we must keep God’s word. This season of Lent is a good reminder to repent from our sinfulness, believe in the Gospel, and strive to follow Christ as a genuine disciple.
It is a challenge for us to examine ourselves if we are living up to our identity as children of God. As we give our “yes” to God, are we faithfully living out the Gospel values? Our love and conviction to see the truth will lead us to Christ and become His true disciples.