Today’s Gospel Reading: John 8:31-42 – 5th WEEK OF LENT: Wednesday, 10 April 2019
Fatherhood and sonship seems to be the center of the debate here between Jesus and some of the Jewish religious leaders. Weren’t they sons of Abraham? Didn’t God choose them out of all the other nations of the world and call the to be His own? Well, yes and no.
There were two ways to understand what it means to be someone’s child. You can conceive a child, and genetically that child is yours. However, unless that child lives under your roof and takes on your reasoning, your outlook, and your approach to life, then an essential element of sonship is missing.
For many of the Jewish religious leaders, being a son of Abraham was a lot like the first kind of sonship. God had adopted them as His own, and that’s all there was to it. Because they didn’t try to take after their Father, they missed out on the more intimate – and more satisfying – aspects of being children of God. Of course not all the Jews approached their faith like this. But some were content in being a descendent of Abraham, yet they failed to experience the joy and freedom of being a child of God.
Dear Sisters and brothers, we can become children of God in the deepest, most powerful way possible. We can begin to take on our Father’s habits, His likeness, and His philosophies. This is why Jesus came in the first place. He didn’t come just to do away with sin. He came to make us children of God (John 1:12-13). “Becoming a disciple of Jesus means accepting the invitations to belong to God’s family, to live in conformity with His way of life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2233).
Every day is filled with opportunities to take on the family resemblance. It’s not always easy, but neither is it all that difficult. We can refuse to join in on gossip. We can forgive someone who has deeply hurt us. We can lend a helping hand or perform anonymous acts of service. As often as we do these things, we are showing the whole world that we have accepted the privilege of being members of God’s family.
Jakarta, 10 April 2019
A Christian Pilgrim