Here are the opening words of today’s Gospel reading: ‘Jesus then 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.”’
St John Chrysostom wrote: ‘Beloved, our condition needs much endurance; and endurance is produced when doctrines are deeply rooted. For as no wind is able by its assaults to tear up the oak, which sends down its root into the lower recesses of the earth, and is firmly clenched there; so too the soul which is nailed by the fear of God none will be able to overturn. Since to be nailed is more than to be rooted. Thus the Prophet prays, saying, “Nail my flesh by Your fear; do Thou so fix and join me, as by a nail riveted into me”. … He first tells them, “If you continue in My word, you are My disciples indeed: and the truth shall make you free”. All but saying, I am about to make a deep incision, but be not ye moved …’
It is the Passion that ‘nails’ us, that cuts us to the heart in a ‘deep incision’. But Our Lord tells us, ‘Remain steadfast; do not be moved’. May the grace of this ‘stability’ in the Passion be ours this Passiontide, and may God bless you this day.