“ ‘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; 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, set me free from my addictions as I trust in You.
Promise: “If the Son frees you, you will really be free.” —Jn 8:36
Praise: David fasts twice a week in penance and in petition for abortionists.
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