WEDNESDAY, FIFTH WEEK OF LENT
Reading 1: Dan 3: 14-20, 24-25, 28 Three Hebrew youths who refuse to worship an idol are condemned to death but rescued by God. Their steadfastness wins the grace of faith for the king.
Gospel: Jn 8: 31-42 The argument between Jesus and his enemies continues. Jesus turns their own claims against them.
FREE FROM THE YOKE OF SIN
“If you continue in my word, you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” The Gospel of today indicates that Jesus is the truth for all eternity. The religious leaders were not happy with this statement because they considered themselves descendants of Abraham, slaves to no one, and therefore, having no need of being freed. Jesus tells them that even though they are descendants of Abraham, they are slaves to sin and consequently, children of the devil.
It is hard to face the truth of our own addictions, shortcomings, failures and unfaithfulness. It is only our faith in the mercy of God that makes us free to look at ourselves in truth. The moment we acknowledge the truth, we are set free.
Today’s first reading says that if we trust in God no earthly power can harm us. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were being forced to worship false gods by King Nebuchadnezzar. However, they trusted God more than they feared the king. As a result, they were thrown in the fiery furnace; yet, they remained unscathed because God was with them. The world will try to force us to accept its evil ways at every stage of life. However, we must earnestly strive to hold on to the truth, the truth of the Gospel. Only this truth can set us free from the shackles of evil tendencies and desires, and strengthen us against the world’s temptations.
Jesus waits for us every day in the holy Eucharist to fill us with his truth, and desires to free us from the yoke of sin through the sacrament of confession. Let us ask ourselves today: What are those things that I prefer to the gospel teaching? During these days of grace, let us pray for the grace of wisdom to recognize the truth amidst the enticements around us, and for the gift of fortitude to acknowledge and live by it, trusting in the power of God’s love to guide us towards the glory of eternity unscathed.
Responsorial Psalm: Dan 3: 52-56 You are to be praised and highly exalted forever
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