Fifth Week of Lent

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

John 8:31–42

Friends, today in our Gospel, Jesus confronts those Jewish leaders who want to kill him, telling them that they are hardened in their sin. He speaks: “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin.”

In our tradition, sin is a kind of nonbeing, an illusion, if you will. To live in sin is to live stubbornly in an unreal world. Our mind becomes confused, and our will disoriented. This helps explain why the devil is often referred to as the father of lies.

Theologian Henri de Lubac gives voice to this conviction when he refers to sin as cette claudication mystérieuse, this mysterious limp. It is a deformation, a corruption.

All of us sinners have, to one degree or another, bought into the lie. At the heart of the lie—and we can see it in the Genesis account—is the deification of the ego. I become the center of the universe, I with my needs and my fears and my demands.

And when the puny “I” is the center of the cosmos, the tie that binds all things to one another is lost. The basic reality now becomes rivalry, competition, violence, and mistrust.

Reflect: What is the “tie that binds all things to one another”? How does sin or the “deification of the ego” damage this bond?

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