March 24, 2021

Daniel 3:14–20,24–28 | John 8:31–42 | Canticle [2] or 13

The first couple of lines from John 8:31-42 made me think about how often we are prisoners – slaves even – of our own beliefs. We even suffer for those beliefs and yet we resist change. That seems particularly relevant right now, with the focus on racism. Obviously, racism both overt and covert does harm to those who are its targets, but it also does harm to those of us with those racist beliefs.

Racism boils down to fear, fear of people who look different from us, fear of losing something if those “other” people gain. It’s that classic “scarcity versus abundance” conundrum. When we act from scarcity, we are not acting from that God-centered part of ourselves. We are not fully believing in God’s power. We are not following God’s truth. 

When we can live in abundance, we find ourselves more open to the world. I have this image of scarcity as me holding my possessions tight, closed into myself. Then, when I try to practice abundance, my jaw unclenches, my shoulders relax, my gaze takes in everything instead of just the tiny patch of land on which I stand. When that happens, I am able to love more fully, to see beyond my own human fear.   

“If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

That truth? It is the love of Jesus Christ for each of us. How can we be better reflections of that love for the world?

Elizabeth McNamara