John 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.
Jesus is the great “I am.” Throughout the Gospel, He constantly demonstrates to the Jews that He in fact is God. He brings about healing, He forgives sins, and He equates himself with the Father by demanding belief in Him. Not asking them to believe in a way to God or a teaching about God but to believe in Him who is God. We cannot fully understand this. How is Jesus both fully human and fully divine? There are countless documents explaining the Incarnation but we will never fully be satisfied with the answers. However, if our hearts remain open, we will always have opportunities to learn something new about the great mysteries of God.
This is the beauty of the Catholic faith. Too often we put God in our self-designed boxes. We pretend as if we have everything all figured out. The Jews could not accept Jesus because He did not come in the way that they expected or deemed suitable for God to come. They were so angry at what He was saying that they picked up stones to throw at Him. They could not accept the mystery.
As we approach Easter, let us open ourselves more fully to the mystery of God and enjoy the fact that God will continue to surprise us in so many different ways. May we once again be amazed at the beauty of God and the mystery of Jesus, the Word made flesh. Take these last days of Lent to really examine how God has been working in your life. Today, take a few minutes to remember a moment of consolation, a moment where you really felt the presence of God in your life, and sit with that moment embracing the closeness of our God even in the midst of great mystery.