“Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.”

The gospel for today (Jn 8:31-42) takes up right where it left off yesterday. Jesus’ rhetoric becomes white hot as He blasts certain Jews for being slaves to sin (see above), children of the devil, and plotters of His demise.  If they were truly children of Abraham and of God, Jesus says, then they would know and love Him because of the One who sent Him.  Any person who has a particular vice, addiction, or recurring particular sin that is hard to overcome, in an honest moment, will tell you that this difficulty is true enslavement.  When one’s life revolves around a certain bad habit, or when a particular sinful act continuously diminishes a person in himself and his relationship to others, it is as if one is ensnared in a trap of which he cannot seem to get out.  The power of a sincere examination of conscience followed by sacramental Confession (as often as necessary) has helped innumerable persons overcome the most difficult and pervasive sinful habits and addictions.  With God’s grace, all things are possible, no matter how far into a pit a person has fallen.  What is needed is perseverance and trust.  It is important to remember that God is perfectly free but cannot commit sin.  Thus, authentic freedom is the freedom to do the good.  Jesus set freedom free for us (cf. Gal 5:1).  Let us strive to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48) as we imitate His Son Jesus.

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