THE FATHER WE CHOOSE


Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you are not able (οὐ δύνασθε) to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and you want to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer (ἀνθρωποκτόνος, killer of human beings) from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature (ἐκ τῶν ἰδίων, from his own), for he is a liar and the father of lies. But, because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.” (Jn 8: 43-45)

Here Jesus is talking to the non-believing Jews, – and to me, when I embrace lies, – about perspective. I become “not able” to hear truth, that is, the illuminating, life-giving way God sees me, my strengths, weaknesses, relationships, challenges, etc., when I “want” to do the desires of, and listen to the voice of, “the father of lies.” And his voice, just like God’s voice, can speak to me not only in my own head, but also through other people. The “father of lies” can bring me “death” in various forms, including crippling self-doubt and despondency, when it comes to my vocation; “wishful thinking,” when it comes to misguided ambitions and expectations; and a general tendency always to see “the glass half-empty,” rather than “the glass half-full,” as I perceive my here and now.

So let me choose my “father” wisely today, and call out to the One in heaven, that I may be open to His light-filled perspective and will, in gratitude and peace. “Our Father, who art in heaven,” I say to Him today, “Thy will be done” with me today, in Your Spirit and truth.

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