REFLECTION FOR TODAY
March 24, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “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.” Jn. 8:31-32
While Jesus was in the Jerusalem for the feast of Tabernacles, He taught the people in the temple. Some Jew believed in Him and took His words to heart while some responded with complain and disbelief amounting to rejection. Our gospel reference today were words of Jesus to those who believed.
These words have the potential to make a transforming difference in our lives. As Christians, we who believe in Jesus should consider these words carefully. The heart of this teaching is twofold: you must come to “know the truth” so that the truth you come to know “will set you free.”
Jesus’ teaching here is exceptionally helpful on both a psychological and spiritual level. On a purely psychological level, one of the greatest helps to good mental health is the truth. Most often when one struggles with various forms of depression, it’s because they are seeing aspects of their life with confusion. “Why did this person do this to me?” Or “How will I ever get through this?” Or “My life is a mess and there is no way out.” These and other similar thoughts will inevitably lead to depression for one simple reason: they are based on erroneous thinking.
One of the best forms of psychological counseling is called “truth therapy.” Every despairing question that we have and every depressing conclusion that we have come to in life must be re-examined in the light of the mind of God. What does God think? What is in the mind of God in this regard?
Those truths that are waiting to be discovered are the truth that “will set you free.” Depression is more easily overcome when we look at our life in the way that God looks at our life. This produces hope, and hope brings freedom to the chains of depression and confusion.
On a spiritual level, the truth about sin, forgiveness, salvation and Heaven must be known deeply and embraced fully. When we deny the truth of sin or forgiveness, then we live within a lie and we remain bound by the lie.
True spiritual freedom that leads to salvation and eternity in Heaven is obtained only when we wholeheartedly embrace the holy and perfect spiritual truth given to us by God. We must clearly know our sin, repent of it, seek the forgiveness of God, amend our lives and live the new life of grace to which we are called.
Reflect, today, upon this powerfully transforming teaching of Jesus: “know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” What psychological and spiritual truths do you need to more deeply know? What confusion or blindness remains? Seek the remedy of the Truth as it is in the mind of God and know that freedom awaits.
God of all Truth, Your Word is liberating, transforming and fills us with hope. May I turn my mind to You and to Your holy Word so that I may know the Truth as You speak it and allow that transforming Truth to set me free. Jesus, I trust in You.