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Wednesday, April 12, 2000

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Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
Daniel 3:52-56
John 8:31-42

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fathered free

" 'We are descendants of Abraham,' was their answer. 'Never have we been slaves to anyone. What do You mean by saying, "You will be free"?' " —John 8:33

Lent is an imitation of Jesus in His fasting forty days in the desert and overcoming the temptations from Satan. Satan tempted Jesus to doubt that He was the beloved Son of God the Father (see Mt 3:17; 4:3, 6). If Satan can cause us to doubt our Father's love for us, then he can manipulate us through bribery or intimidation. If we doubt our Father's love, then Satan can seduce us to sin and take away our freedom, for "everyone who lives in sin is the slave of sin" (Jn 8:34).

When Jesus proclaimed to the Jews that He would free them, they connected freedom with fatherhood. They said they were already free because Abraham and God were their fathers (Jn 8:39, 41). Jesus agreed with the Jews that freedom was based on being begotten of a free father. (We are fathered into freedom.) However, Jesus denied that the Jews had practically accepted Abraham as their father. We should act like our fathers, and they didn't act like Abraham (Jn 8:39-40). Jesus also denied that the Jews had practically accepted God as their Father, for, if they had, the Jews would have loved Jesus as the Father loved Him (Jn 8:42).

Freedom is a matter of fatherhood — not only of factual fatherhood but practical fatherhood.

Prayer:  Father, in this Great Jubilee Year of freedom, set me free from my addictions as I trust in You.

Promise:  "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Who sent His angel to deliver the servants that trusted in Him; they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God." —Dn 3:95

Praise:  Instead of being discouraged by having to confess the same sin, Patty accepted the graces of frequent Confession and received victory over a stronghold in her life.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Edward J. Gratsch, October 4, 1999

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 12, 1999