Readings: Dan 3:14-20, 91-92, 95; John 8:31-42
Scripture: 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)
Reflection: “Truth” should be clear as a bell, unquestionable, but truth is so often twisted into a mere shadow of itself. We know it all too well these days, when politicians and public figures and social media bubble with a deadly brew of halftruths and outright lies cloaked as truth. We think this is a modern problem, but from the conversation that unfolds in today’s gospel, it’s clear that truth has always been a complicated topic. Fast forward to what’s coming just a week from now, and we will hear the haunting question posed by Pontius Pilate: “What is truth?”
We might ask ourselves the same question as we reflect on today’s gospel: “You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” It sounds so simple and straightforward, and yet I don’t think I’m alone in saying that I have no clue if I am living the truth, and I certainly don’t feel free. I long for that moment; I keep expecting that at some point on this spiritual journey it will become abundantly clear and I will know once and for all my truth, the truth. But truth doesn’t come with age, like gray hair and wrinkles. If only it did! It comes from the hard work of prayer and discipleship, which is precisely where Jesus started the conversation today. Are we doing our part?
Meditation: Jesus makes clear that knowing the truth and earning the freedom he promises require something of us: faithfulness to the Word. God doesn’t simply bestow truth on us like some omnipotent fairy godmother. There is nothing magical about this, which is good news. We have a role in this story because God refuses to force us to accept his word, his truth, his freedom. We have to be willing to invest ourselves in it, to live it, to allow it to run through our veins and out our pores into the world around us. What does truth mean to you? Now take it one step further: What does the truth mean to you?
Prayer: God of truth, dispel the false story lines that keep us tethered to a life that is so much less than what you have planned for us. Open our eyes to your truth so that we may taste the freedom that comes from knowing nothing of this world can touch us.
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