Jesus then 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 a 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 are not illegitimate. 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.
Jesus is speaking to the Jews who believed in Him. This belief in Jesus should be translated in to action. Jesus is thus helping them to discover Him, in the prophets, and in the Holy Scriptures, particularly in the Words of Jesus Himself. In His response to their difficulty to understand the true slavery, sin, Jesus is addressing to us, the believers of the day.
Jesus asks us to be faithful to the teaching of the commandment of love, the Word of Jesus. In this love we will discover Jesus and his works. Our faithfulness to God's love will make us worthy to be the Lord's disciples.
We will become disciples of the Lord by listening to the Word of Jesus, which invites us to love one another as He has loved us, and by putting this Word into practice. This practice will help us to stand before the truth as the righteous before God and this truth will save us. In this truth, God will be our Father and we will be His children.
Action of the day: Are your in Truth?
«If God were your Father, you would love me»
Fr. Givanildo dos SANTOS Ferreira
Today, the Lord directs harsh words to the Jews. Not to some Jews, but precisely to those who embraced the faith: Jesus said «to the Jews who had believed him» (Jn 8:31). This dialogue of Jesus reflects, without any doubt, the beginning of those difficulties caused by the Jewish Christians in the first hours of the Church.
As they were descendants of Abraham according to their kinship, such Jesus’ disciples considered themselves superior not only to Gentiles who lived away from the faith, but also better than any non-Jewish disciples of the same faith. They said: «We are Abraham’s descendants» (Jn 8:33); «Abraham is our father» (v.39); «The only Father we have is God himself.”» (v.41) Despite being disciples of Jesus, we have the impression that Jesus meant nothing for them, nothing that could improve whom they already owned. But it is there where they all made a big mistake. True sons are not those by physical descent but the heirs of the promise, that is, those who believe (cf. Rom 9:6-8). Without faith in Jesus it is not possible for anyone to reach Abraham’s promise. That being so, among the disciples, "there is neither Jews nor Greeks; neither slave nor free; nor is there man and woman", for they are all brothers because of Baptism (cf. Gal 3:27-28).
Let us not be seduced by spiritual pride. Judaizers considered themselves superior to other Christians. It is not necessary to speak, here, of separated brethren. But let us rather think of us. How often some Catholics consider themselves better than other Catholics just because they follow this or that movement, or because they observe this or that discipline, they abide by this or to that liturgical trend! Some, because they are rich; others, because they studied more… Some, because they hold relevant positions; others, because they come from noble families... « I want everyone to feel the joy of being a Christian.... God guides his Church, he sustains it always, especially at times of difficulty» (Benedict XVI).