Based on John 8: 31-42
There is a simple fable, perhaps known to many of us… of a swan….
The swan – white, beautiful and spotless – was pitying a poor pig, who was in its muddy environment.
>> It began to describe to the pig, that further up the river, there was a beautiful country – with green banks and rising slopes.
The swan invited the pig to join the happy company of the white swans that lived in that “pleasant country”.
The pig was pretty fascinated and was willing to go.
>> But it asked a question: “Is there any marshy swamp in that pleasant country?”
“Oh no!” replied the swan, “the land is free from all mud and mire”
“Ah Hmm…” said the pig with face cast-down, “In that case, I am sorry, I cannot accompany you!
I must stay here in the swamp!”
An invitation to move from the dirty swamp to a pleasant country was extended…
… but the offer was refused and rejected!
So true is this fable, with respect to our own experience in spiritual life.
>> We are constantly exhorted, to advance to live in holiness and purity…
… but we stubbornly choose to inhabit in sin, shame and ignorance!
>> We are often invited, to move into a life of spotlessness and sanctity…
… but we remain satisfied to dwell with the unclean and dirty things of life!
The Gospel of the Day is a continuation of the Jews getting into arguments with Jesus on the question of His Divinity.
>> The Lord invites them open their eyes to see and experience the Truth…
… but they close their minds, and choose to remain stubborn, in their own understanding
>> The Lord exposes before them the futility of being ignorant and the advantage of knowing the Truth…
… but they wilfully choose to remain stuck in their past knowledge and be unwilling to open their hearts to possibilities of change.
Jesus, the Truth-Incarnate, declares:
“You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free” (Jn 8: 31)
But the people retorted and answered: “… we have never been enslaved…” (Jn 8: 33)
They considered slavery from only a physical perspective!
>> They were extremely offended when Jesus considered them to be slaves!
But Jesus brings the focus into right perspective (as he does always!), and speaks of a deadlier form of slavery and a higher form of freedom…
>> A slavery to Sin…
… that causes one to be away from God and His people
>> A slavery to ignorance and error…
… that causes one to be closed to God’s Word and prevent His transformation to take place within
He invites to receive Freedom in Him…
… that enjoins with knowing and doing the Father’s Will
… that liberates one from the bondages of death, and leads into peace and joy!
The danger to remain stagnant in sinful or ignorant ways constantly lurks in our life:
>> The Truth of the Bible is often presented to us in appealing and interesting formats…
… but we often seek to remain ignorant or don’t show any interest to read and understand God’s Word
>> The beauty of the Sacramental Life and the Teachings of the Church is laid before our eyes…
… but we time and again, tend to be lethargic, casual and sometimes even, hostile to them
>> Our eyes often come into contact with the suffering lot of people, in and around us…
… but many times, we turn a blind eye to them and remain indifferent in our cosy lifestyle
Each of us needs a purification…
>> Each of us needs a movement…
A purification from our stubborn ways to a life of obedience and docility to God’s Word
>> A movement from a sluggish life of faith to being a fervent and committed Christian
Yes, Jesus is constantly extending His Nail-Scarred Hands to lead us to the “pleasant country” of holiness and sanctity.
>> Let us not deny his invitation and say:
“Ah Hmm…! I am sorry, I cannot accompany You!
I must stay here in the swamp!”
Instead, let us make a self-examination of our state of life…
… realize the need to have a purification and a movement…
… and embrace and live with Jesus, the Truth, “Who sets us free”!
God Bless! Live Jesus!
– Fr Jijo Jose Manjackal MSFS
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “ God will unfailingly be pleased with our patience and take note of our diligence and perseverance!”