The Catholic Calendar for Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Daniel 3:14-20,91,95
Daniel 3:52-56
John 8:31-42

A reflection on today's Sacred Scripture. . . .

"If you live according to my teaching,...you will know the truth
and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31)

Today's readings emphasize the importance of complete, steadfast trust in God, even in circumstances that could jeopardize our lives. We often refuse to believe or conveniently forget that there is more to being human than our mere physical existence. Daniel and his companions proved their full humanity by not dishonoring their God, not compromising their faith in Him. Their unwavering love and trust, their freedom from fear in the face of what seemed like certain death miraculously resulted in their survival in the fiery furnace and so bore much fruit for God's kingdom; the king and his entire nation converted to belief in the one true God.

Jesus in our Gospel reveals that if we divorce ourselves from God, from living in His love and truth, we do not gain freedom but instead enslave ourselves to our fleshly demands. But since fully and permanently satisfying human appetites is impossible, our trying to appease them only gives us more demanding habits. His listeners based their freedom on being Abraham's children. Jesus counters their claim, saying that if they were truly Abraham's children they would not be intent on killing Him; for God's children are imbued with His truth and love, fully trusting Him and faithfully living in His virtues. True human freedom results from faithfully abiding within this context of God.

Spirit of Truth and Love,
grace us with the ability to live totally within Your holy Word,
so that our fearless and joyful freedom
may draw others to You. Amen.

- Marie Bocko, ocds
(mlbocko at borg dot com)

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