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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

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St. Vincent Ferrer

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

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born enslaved, born again free

"No slave has a permanent place in the family, but the son has a place there forever." —John 8:35

We are preparing for Easter, which arrives in eleven days. If the Son (Jesus) frees us, we are really free (Jn 8:36). John calls Jesus "the Son" when he proclaims that Jesus will free us.

In Jesus' time, most people were slaves not because they were sold into slavery but because they were born into it. Freedom and slavery depended upon whose son or daughter you were. Thus, when Jesus promised freedom, some of the Jews claimed they were already free because they were children of God (Jn 8:41) and of Abraham (Jn 8:33). Jesus questioned whether Abraham was their father because they didn't act like Abraham (Jn 8:39ff). Jesus accused them of being children of the devil (Jn 8:44). This means they were slaves because they were children of a slave and an enslaver.

When you were baptized, you became sons and daughters of God. Therefore, you became free. However, free people can choose to live like slaves. Live your Baptism. In eleven days, renew your baptismal promises with total love and great faith. Live as sons and daughters of God. Be free.

Prayer:  Father, free me by sending the Holy Spirit to cry out in my heart, "Abba" (Gal 4:6).

Promise:  "I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God." —Dn 3:92

Praise:  St. Vincent turned down being made a cardinal to answer the call as missionary.

Reference:  (For more teaching, order our leaflet, Lent and the Renewal of Our Baptismal Promises.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 2016

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