Thursday in the Fifth Week of Lent

We have been fortunate to have the gospel of John to prepare us for Holy Week. He illustrates well the difference Christ makes. As St. Paul says, if He doesn’t make a difference, then He’s not important…and we are all fools.

As the first reading reminds us, in Old Testament times God made a covenant with the Abraham and through him with the people. The covenant made God the God of Israel and the Israelites were His people. The covenant was an external reality to them. The covenant was fortified by God freeing them from Egypt, from slavery. That made a difference. Freedom from slavery is important.

In the New Testament it is an interior reality. No longer are the Israelites God’s people; now the relationship is to God as Father. Through relationship with Christ in baptism they become not just “a people”, but adopted children. Now they are “truly free.”

John tells us that it is the truth that makes them, and us, free. It is an interior experience. We stand face to face with truth. We arrive, after frequent wanderings and much pain, at wisdom, at the ability to make distinctions that allow us to live well. We will not be finally defeated and cast out, but will ultimately triumph over every inward foe.

To be freed of one’s interior foes makes a BIG difference. It becomes the most important truth of one’s life.

And this is our divine destiny. Every saint, sage, and savior has told us so.