Faith Daily | 24 March 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Lent Five
We thank you heavenly Father,
that you have delivered us from the power of darkness
and brought us into the kingdom of your Son:
we pray that
as by his death he has recalled us to life,
so by his presence abiding in us he may raise us
to joys eternal;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who lives ad reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
Amen APBA p490
GOSPEL for the Day: John 8: 31-42
31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; 32and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’ 33They answered him, ‘We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, “You will be made free”?’
34 Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. 35The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there for ever. 36So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. 37I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. 38I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.’*
39 They answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing* what Abraham did, 40but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41You are indeed doing what your father does.’ They said to him, ‘We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.’ 42Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Maggie Woolley
One of the things we value most in life is our freedom. In the Western World we are often reminded that our freedom has been hard won by previous generations. We hold dear to our hearts the celebration of ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day and of course it's right to acknowledge and show gratitude and respect for that "hard earned freedom". But Jesus was speaking of a deeper freedom, the freedom of our hearts, freedom from the burden of sin and His message in this passage is that the only way to achieve this is by following Him.
When my daughter was at university she went through a phase of wanting to convert to Judaism and when she discussed it with a priest friend, his response to her was 'well that seems like taking a step backwards doesn't it'. How wise. I wonder if Jesus was saying that to the Jews. Move on! ...follow Me and I will show you what true freedom is.
The Jews were prickly in their response to Jesus' challenge to them and quick to defend their status. They said "we have never been slaves to anyone". In their minds, and for many of us, we are free. Sometimes we can’t see beyond the physical meaning of the word "freedom". His answers show us that we need to explore what true freedom is and he wants all of us to have it. Jesus teaches real freedom, inner freedom - a freedom to shed burdens and free hearts.
We pray for true discipleship and surrender to Jesus
all that is sinful in our lives, enabling us to find true freedom.