Thursday 5th week of Lent

(Jn 8, 51-59)

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

At first glance, the claims of Jesus seem fantastic and a product of an impressive imagination. We cannot blame the Jews of His time for not believing Him immediately. They want Him to perform signs of wonder and clarify the seeming impossibility of His claim. After all, Abraham and the prophets are already part of their faith journey. Jesus is an upstart who asks for their faith allegiance without the backings of history.

But this is precisely the kind of mentality that blocked the hearts and minds of the Jews during the time of Jesus to see the truth of His words. They look to the past for assurances while the present wonder of Jesus’ words and actions reinforcing each other were brushed aside and ignored. They could not discern the reign of God slowly dawning on earth when the blind saw, when the limp walked and when sins were forgiven so that a new beginning in life could push through. When you are not mindful of the present and is hostage to the comforts of the past, your eyes will never see, and your ears will never hear.

Fr.Paulson V. Veliyannoor, CMF


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