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Jn 8:31-42


Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free’?” 

Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever. So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know that you are descendants of

Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place in you for my word. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.” They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.” They said to him, “We are not illegitimate children; we have one father, God himself.” 

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.


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Learning to Listen

Have you ever tried to grasp the truth of something but just couldn’t get your head around it? Jesus tells his listeners three times what will make them free, and three times they fail to take it in. Either they only hear a portion of what he’s saying because they think they’ve heard it before, or they’re too pedantic to allow it to sink in. But Jesus is not frustrated; he keeps trying, even as he observes:  “. . . my word has no room among you.”

What blocks me from hearing God? Do I listen fully to the people around me? Do I come to prayer with a humble heart, or do I assume a response? Do grievance and regret crowd God out?

Lord, help me to get out of the way so that your word will find room in me.

—Christine Brunkhorst is an alumna of Santa Clara University and Marquette University. A Twin Cities Ignatian Associate, she teaches English to adult immigrants at Learning in Style School in Minneapolis.



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Teach me to listen, O God,
To those nearest me,
My family, my friends, my co-workers,
Help me to be aware that
No matter what words I hear,
The message is
“Accept the person I am. Listen to me.”

Teach me to listen, my caring God,
To those far from me—
The whisper of the hopeless,
The plea of the forgotten,
The cry of the anguished.

Teach me to listen, O God my Mother,
To myself.
Help me to be less afraid
To trust the voice inside—
In the deepest part of me

Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit,
For your voice—
In busyness and in boredom,
In certainty and in doubt,
In noise and in silence.
Teach me, Lord, to listen. Amen

Adapted by John Veltri, SJ

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Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.
For victims of abuse – The Pope Video 3 – March 2023

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Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

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