Jesus harshly rebukes evil non-believers and reveals their father is Satan. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Virtue of Hope so he can always hope and pray for the salvation of non-Catholic Christians and by seeking the Gift of Knowledge so his free will is always guided by the Holy Spirit. 

Liturgy

5th Week of Lent – Wednesday – Jn 8:31-42

Commentary

After the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem attempt but fail to arrest Him for blasphemy during the Feast of the Tabernacles, Jesus engages in a lengthy debate with them, reconfirming His divinity and condemning those who fail to believe in Him. Jesus promises that disciples who “remain” in His word will know the truth and be free, a reference to the peace and joy Catholics will experience in both this life, and the life to come.

After Jesus reveals that men must believe in His word to be free, confused and taking offense, some of the Jews object that their father (ancestor) is Abraham and they have never been enslaved; this is comically false, for the Jews were enslaved by Egypt, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks, and now are brutally ruled by the Romans. Rather than correcting their error about political enslavement, Jesus reveals that as the Son of the Father, He has the authority and power to free them from their spiritual enslavement to sin.

When the Jews continue to claim they descend from Abraham, and even God the Father, Jesus harshly rebukes them. Rather than true spiritual children of Abraham who would welcome the Son of God, or spiritual children of God the Father, Jesus confirms that their plots to kill Him reveal they are not of God. In the next verses (v 43-50; omitted from the Liturgy), Jesus harshly warns the non-believing Jews, revealing their real father is the Devil, a murderer and liar from the beginning. These evil men’s patrimony is of Satan, not God.

Be awed by Jesus Christ

In the verses omitted from the Liturgy (v 43-50), be awed by Jesus’ frightening statements about Satan and His warnings of the condemnation of those who oppose God: with Divine Knowledge as the Son of the Father, He confirms the reality of Satan(Devil) and that Satan is despicably evil (murderer, liar); He Harshly Warns those who reject Him with the grave Insult that they are sons of the Devil who do the Devil’s evil work; He reveals that God will harshly judge those who oppose Jesus.  

Hope and pray for the salvation of non-Catholic Christians

Realize: While millions of non-Catholic Christians genuinely love Jesus Christ and vigilantly seek to do His will, they are separated from Jesus in important ways because they do not hold to the fullness of His Truth found only in His Holy Catholic Church (CCC 870); tragically, they lack access to the life-saving blessings of the Sacrament of Penance and the Sacrament of the Eucharist, which Jesus has declared are absolutely essential for a man’s salvation ( Jn 20:21-23, 6:53). 

Believe: Reflect upon Jesus’ infallible Truth that only fully resides in the Magisterium of the Holy Catholic Church (CCC 84-100).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Hope so I trust and are comforted that You can and will redeem the many millions who love You but are not yet in full communion with Your Holy Catholic Church.  

Pray for your free will to be guided by the Spirit

Realize: Like the Jews who freely chose to reject Jesus but were slaves to sin, many men today freely choose to reject Jesus and become enslaved to all kinds of evil and vile sins; those who die in sin will be damned.

Believe: Reflect upon the reality of Man’s Freedom (CCC 1730-1748).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so I instantly know when I am being tempted, am immediately guided to reject sin, and quickly repent when I have freely and foolishly chosen to sin.