- Sr Siobhán
'Your word O Lord is a lamp for my steps.'
Wednesday Week Five
Reading: John 8: 31-42
Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, ‘If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free.’ They answered him, ‘We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves of anyone. What do you mean by saying, “You will be made free”?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, and everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have permanent place in the household; the son has a place there for ever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.
They answered him, ‘Abraham is our father.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.’ They said to him, ‘We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.’ Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.’
Jesus clearly states that he has been sent by God the Father to proclaim the Word of God and to draw all people to the Father. He has come in obedience to the Father’s will; ‘my food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work’ (John 4:34) An important part of his mission is to remind us that all life is found in God’s life giving word; it guides people on how to live and draw closer to God. The psalmist teaches us that God word is ‘a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.’ (Psalm 119:105) God’s Word shows us how to live ‘as blameless and innocent children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation in which you shine like stars in the world.’ (Philippians 2:15) It leads us in the truth and the truth will set us free from all that draws us away from a deep, committed loving relationship with God and others. It shows us how to relate to one another in our daily lives so that we may love one another just as Christ has loved us. (John 13: 34-35) It teaches us essential truths about forgiveness and reconciliation, ‘be kind to one another, tender- hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.’ (Ephesians 4:32) The gate to our holiness lies in loving the Lord our God with our whole being and loving our neighbour as ourselves. In following God’s word, we will ‘act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with our God.’ (Micah 6:6) The word of the Lord shows us that ‘the Lord maintains the cause of the needy, and executes justice for the poor.’ (Psalm 140:12) If we are to be true to our Christian calling, we will co-operate with him in our service of the poor. We will speak out against all forms of injustice and work for peace and reconciliation wherever we are. We are asked to ‘pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.’ (Hebrews 12:14) When we follow these principles of living, we will indeed love the Lord our God and live as he wishes us to live.
Your word O Lord is a lamp for my steps and a light for my eyes;
May my eyes savour the delight of your most holy Word;
May it guide all my thoughts and actions each day of my life;
May I grow in holiness and draw ever closer to you, O God, Amen.