"True freedom is not advanced in the permissive society, which confuses freedom with license to do anything whatever and which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace." - Pope John Paul II
Gospel text (Jn 8:31-42):
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.”
Today, when we are only a few days from the Holy Week, our Lord is asking us to live some very specific things, small, but at times, not very easy. I shall explain them throughout this commentary: basically, it is a matter of persisting with His word. How important it is to always refer our life to the Gospel! Let's ask us: What would Jesus do in this situation I have to face now? How would He treat this person which I find so specially difficult to treat? Which would be his reaction before this circumstance? A Christian must be —according to Saint Paul — “another Christ”: «I no longer live, but Christ lives in me» (Gal 2:20). How is it, our Lord's reflection, on our daily life? Am I his mirror?
Our Lord assures us that, if we persist in his word, we shall know the truth, and the truth will make us free (cf. Jn 8:32). To be truthful is not always easy. How often do we tell small lies, how often do we pretend, how often do “we act dumb”? We cannot deceive God. He sees us, He contemplates us. He loves us and follows us, in our day-to-day routine. The eight Commandment teaches us not to bear false witness nor not to tell lies, no matter how small, even if they look trivial to us. “White lies” are not permitted either. Jesus Christ tells us in another moment: «Let your yes mean, "Yes" and your no mean "No"» (Mt 5:37). That trend to do good, which is true freedom, is very much related to Truth. Sometimes, we are not free enough because there is a double standard in our life, we are not clear. We must be convincing! The sin of lies enslaves us.
Our Lord says «If God were your Father you would love me» (Jn 8:42). How can we make it come true in our daily desire to get to know the Master? With what kind of devotion do we read the Gospel, even though we may have little time at our disposal? Which sediment will it leave in my life, in my day? When people look at you (and me) can it be said, that they see Christ's life?