Jesus opens today's gospel with one of his most powerful promises:
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
It sounds so simple. Remain in his word. And yet this is more difficult than it seems. No, it doesn't mean that we are supposed to sit around all day reading the bible.
Reading the Bible is important, but more important than reading and memorizing the bible is remaining in it. We have to remain it is when we are shopping, remain in it at home, at work, remain in it when we are frustrated, remain in it when we are angry.
To remain in his word means that our every choice has to be made in him. Remaining in his word means not just cherry picking the verses that make us feel better, but being willing to recall those words which challenge our most deeply held positions.
Remaining will lead to truth, sometimes truth we do not want to hear. But the good news is that when we are willing to face the absolute truth, we find true freedom, not just freedom to, but also freedom from.
Freedom is the ability to be the person God created us to be.
In these last days of Lent, this gospel calls us to truly allow the word to soak into every aspect of our life, and allow the truth, to transform our lives, giving us true freedom.