Fr Paul Gooley reads today from the John (8: 31-42) in which Jesus says to the Jews that believed him, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’

Fr Paul says the Gospel passage continues the confrontation of Jesus with ‘the Jews’ in the Temple. The argument now centres on faithfulness to Abraham as the Father and founder of the Hebrew and Jewish tradition.

As the discussion progresses, it becomes more and more clearer that those listening to Jesus are being called upon to make their commitment in faith. Abraham is the figure of faith, and it was Abraham’s faith which ‘set him right’ or ‘justified him’ with God.

All the way through the Gospel it has been faith which is being demanded. Now in the course of this discussion it becomes clear that Abraham’s faith was faith in God and therefore faith in Jesus, who is at one with his Father. This will eventually issue in the shattering claim, ‘Before Abraham was, I am’ (verse 58). This is the faith that will set them free.

For our reflection, Fr Paul says we might ask ourselves, ‘How committed am I to my faith?’