During this season of Lent, I will be working through Bishop Robert Barron’s Lenten Gospel Reflections (available through Word on Fire). Each day, I will share the readings and the reflection question, followed by my own thoughts.
April 6, 2022
31 Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” 33 They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, ‘You will be made free’?” 34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever. 36 So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.” 39 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do what Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did. 41 You do the works of your father.” They said to him, “We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God.” 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
The Holy Bible (Revised Standard Version; Second Catholic Edition, Jn 8:31–42). (2006). Ignatius Press.
Reflect on the underlying disease of sin. Human nature is tainted by this disease and no human, except the Blessed Mother, escapes it. What’s the implication of this statement for you personally?
Because of the grace conferred upon me at baptism, I have been set free from the spiritual death which is the consequence of the original sin that I was born into; however, I have not been freed from temptation. Even Christ was tempted for forty days in the wilderness after His baptism; how could I, His servant, expect to escape this? The Catechism says this: “Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ’s grace, erases original sin and turns a man back toward God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle” (CCC, paragraph 405). So though God by His grace through the sacrament of Baptism has saved me from the spiritual death due from inherited sin, the consequences of sin are still present in my life. I cannot fight this battle on my own; I need God’s grace that I might persevere to the end.
Lord, be with me in battle! Let me stand strong in this thunderous storm. Fill me with Your love, that I may walk in Your footsteps. Be my guide through this valley.