Daily Gospel Reflection – Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Bishop Robert Barron
April 06, 2022
Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Gospel: Jn 8:31-42
Jesus 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 the 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 were not born of fornication. 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.”
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the Lord tells some Jewish leaders that they are enslaved to sin and that the truth will set them free.
Jesus was distinguishing between sins and sin, between the underlying disease and its many symptoms. When the Curé d’Ars was asked what wisdom he had gained about human nature from his many years of hearing confessions, he responded, “People are much sadder than they seem.” Blaise Pascal rests his apologetic for Christianity on the simple fact that all people are unhappy. This universal, enduring, and stubborn sadness is sin.
Now, this does not mean that sin is identical to psychological depression. The worst sinners can be the most psychologically well-adjusted people, and the greatest saints can be, by any ordinary measure, quite unhappy.
When I speak of sadness in this context, I mean the deep sense of unfulfillment. We want the truth and we get it, if at all, in dribs and drabs; we want the good, and we achieve it only rarely; we seem to know what we ought to be, but we are in fact something else. This spiritual frustration, this inner warfare, this debility of soul, is sin.