After the Jewish leadership in Jerusalem fails to arrest Christ for blasphemy, Christ engages in a lengthy debate with them, confirming His divinity and condemning those who fail to believe in Him. Christ promises that disciples who “remain” in His word will know the truth and the truth will make them free.

Confused and taking offense, some object that their father (ancestor) is Abraham and they have never been enslaved; this is false, for the Jews were enslaved by Egypt, the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Greeks and the Romans. Rather than correcting their error about political enslavement, Christ 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, Christ harshly condemns them. Rather than true spiritual children of Abraham (who would welcome the Son of God) or of God the Father, Christ confirms that their plots to kill Him reveal that they are not from God. In the next verses (v. 43-50; omitted from the Liturgy), Christ harshly condemns the non-believing Jews, revealing their real father is the Devil, the murderer and liar from the beginning. These evil men’s patrimony is of the Satan, not God.

1) Modern culture dismisses Satan as a myth, portraying Satan as a cartoon character, a sports mascot, a villain or hero in “horror” movies or mocking Christians who speak of Satan. Realize that Christ confirms Satan’s existence multiple times and warns men to beware.

2) Only in Christ’s Catholic Church can men find the fullness of Truth of Christ; the many thousands of “Christian” churches love Christ but reject the fullness of Truth. During Lent, give thanks for the Christ’s infallible Truth that resides in the Magisterium (CCC 84-100) and pray for Christ to help you grow in the fullness of faith.

3) Like the Jews of Christ’s time, men today fail to recognize their enslavement to sin, be it materialism, pornography, gluttony, sloth, anger, fear, lukewarmness in the faith, etc. During Lent, refresh your understanding of Man’s Freedom (CCC 1730-1748) and pray for Christ to help you to become truly free in His Name.