By Fr. Joe Tobias, MSC
Jesus utters such truly comforting words in today’s Gospel, “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.” John 8:31. Freedom is treasured by everyone-but what does freedom mean, and are we ready to face its responsibilities?
While most of us see freedom as the ability to do whatever we want, the Church models it in the light of obedience to God. The Catechism states: “The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. The choice to disobey and to do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to slavery of sin” (1733). Doing what is right offers us the ultimate joy and freedom-being children of God and enjoying the beauty of His creation.
By offering our lives in service to God and to the good of the world, we might face consequences such as being unpopular, rejection by family and friends or even hatred. But we will be able to find the inner freedom to face those slights if we keep our minds and hearts focused on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and live in His Word.
We need to be people of HOPE, not like the senior resident in this story. There was a charitable man who visited nursing and retirement homes to cheer up the residents and staff. He took along a keyboard and played humorous songs and told jokes at many a bedside. After finishing his final performance for an old man, he said, “I hope you get better.” The old man smiled vaguely at the performer and replied, “I hope you do too.”
In these last days of Lent, make time to immerse yourself in Jesus so that He who is all Love and Truth can set you free, free to be a beloved child of God.