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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

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Daniel 3:14-20, 91-92, 95
Daniel 3:52-56
John 8:31-42

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paternity testing

"Indeed you are doing your father's works!" —John 8:41

Some Jews were confused about their family identity. First these Jews claimed: "Our father is Abraham" (Jn 8:39). Jesus disproved that by observing that no true child of Abraham would ever attempt to kill someone who speaks God's truth (Jn 8:40). Moments later, "they cried...'We have but one father and that is God Himself' " (Jn 8:41). Jesus easily disproved that claim by answering: "Were God your father you would love Me, for I came forth from God" (Jn 8:42), and therefore, they wouldn't be trying to kill Him. Jesus solved their paternity crisis, saying: "The father you spring from is the devil, and willingly you carry out his wishes" (Jn 8:44). "Indeed you are doing your father's works!" (Jn 8:41). The devil's works are lying and death, while the works of God the Father are truth and life (see Jn 14:6).

Millions of dollars are spent on paternity testing, DNA samples, and lawsuits by people desperately in search of their biological father. It's even more devastating for a person to not know their spiritual father. In Baptism, we are literally adopted into the family of God the Father (Rm 8:15; Eph 1:5). Yet if we don't live our Baptism, we act like the prodigal son: a child who does not live up to his father's name (Lk 15:18-19). We then live as slaves of sin (Jn 8:34; Lk 15:19) rather than free children who know their "permanent place in the family" of God (Jn 8:35).

In eleven days, you will be asked to renew your baptismal promises, that is, to live your Baptism. Renew your promise to reject the empty works of Satan, "the father of lies" (Jn 8:44). Prove the paternity of God, your adoptive Father. Do the works of God.

Prayer:  Father, may my life give glory to Your name (Mt 6:9).

Promise:  "If you live according to My teaching, you are truly My disciples; then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." —Jn 8:31-32

Praise:  In exhorting youth to embrace chastity, May tells them to remember who they are: sons and daughters of God.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004