Grace to you!
My apologies for not providing the daily reflections in the last two days.
We continue our Lenten reflections this year centered on virtuous life. In today’s reflection, based on the Gospel of John 8:31-32, I share some thoughts on how remaining in God’s Word—Christ, is the true freedom and virtuous life.
Pause a moment and reflect on your life as a believer in Christ, if you are one. How did your personal commitment to faith-life begin? When could you say you found freedom from those things that held you back from finding true peace?
You may notice it started with one little encounter. It could be encounter with God’s Word in Scripture. It could be encounter with God’s Word at one moment or another during the Eucharistic celebration or other liturgical celebrations. It could be when you received Holy Communion. It could be that a phrase from a sermon or a Bible quote touched your heart. It could be you witnessed some holy examples from people who are living the life of Christ. It could be during a private or prayerful moment; all of a sudden, God touched your heart with his Word and renewal began to take place.
Notice one of the common features of those moments. It begins small. Then it grows. The Lord tells us about the Kingdom of God which he brings. It is like a mustard seed. It is small but it sure grows into big shrub. It is like the yeast (Mtt 13:31-33). A little of it, then the heart is beginning to transform from within.
This is possible because anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus, welcomes and abides in him as the Word of God, has renewal from within. Christ gives that person a new life. Unlike any other kind of knowing, this one abides in that heart as a living seed. We call such a divine gift grace. It is the seed of eternal life.
This seed grows and matures in the soul of anyone who welcomes Christ. This kind of abiding knowledge isn’t head knowledge. It is a knowing that grips the entire person—body, soul, spirit; head, heart and mind.
This is unlike the legal codes. No matter how we know the law and live by it, it doesn’t have the power in itself of renewal from within. So is keeping the letters of the Old Law. The Lord’s teaching in John 8:31-58 makes this clear to us.
The truth, which is Christ, comes with liberating power. This is because it is God’s Word. God’s Word is a person. It is Christ. When we welcome Christ, we welcome true freedom from within.
So, the Lord tells us: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:31-33).
Praying for the grace to remain in the truth of God’s Word and live the freedom it gives. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu.
[Wednesday Lent Week 5: Dn 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; Jn 8:31-42]
Father Maurice Emelu, Ph.D., provides a daily blog of reflections for the season of Lent your individual spiritual edification. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations. .