The gift of freedom
April 10, 2019
5th Week of Lent
1st Reading: Dn 3:14–20, 91–92, 95
Gospel: Jn 8:31–42
Jesus went on to say to the Jews who believed in him: “You will be my true disciples if you keep my word. Then you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are the descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves of anyone. What do you mean by saying: You will be free?”Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave. But the slave doesn’t stay in the house forever; the son stays forever. So, if the Son makes you free, you will be really free.I know that you are the descendants of Abraham; yet you want to kill me because my word finds no place in you. For my part I speak of what I have seen in the Father’s presence, but you do what you have learned from your father.”They answered him, “Our father is Abraham.” Then Jesus said, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do as Abraham did. But now you want to kill me, the one who tells you the truth—the truth that I have learned from God. That is not what Abraham did; what you are doing are the works of your father.”The Jews said to him, “We are not illegitimate children; we have one Father, God.” Jesus replied, “If God were your Father you would love me, for I came forth from God, and I am here. And I didn’t come by my own decision, but it was he himself who sent me.
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The Jews claimed that the freedom they enjoyed was a matter of right because they were children of Abraham. But Jesus questioned their claim of sonship by uncovering their plan to kill him. How could they claim Abraham as their father and at the same time maintain a murderous attitude?
This was a serious accusation which they did not deny. They kept mum about it. Our Rules of Court calls this admission by silence (Sec. 32, Rule 130, Rules of Court). Whether or not the Jews had a similar rule, it is common knowledge that a person instinctively disowns an imputed evil act especially when false.
By claiming to be children of Abraham and at the same time nurturing murderous hearts, their lives were split into being children of the light and being agents of the dark. This is not a mark of freedom. Freedom knows no percentages. One is either free or not free at all. Freedom is total liberation from slavery. A person of murderous hearts is a slave to evil passions such as hatred and jealousy. The Jews may have the right to freedom as children of Abraham. But by their lives of inconsistency they divested themselves of this right and descended to the level of slaves. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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