April 6, 2017
Thursday of the 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.
Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian V. Abu)
Nowadays, we have the great tendency to water down truths of our faith, of our values and of the Gospel. Some, in an effort to reach out political and social goals, even compromise on the uniqueness and importance of the teachings of Jesus. Jesus becomes just one of those ideal men – a hero or a model like some others. In today’s Gospel Jesus insisted on his uniqueness and on his divinity. Abraham, Moses and the prophets were great men of God, but no one among them becomes so similar with Jesus. He is not only the waited Messiah or the Anointed One but He is the unique Son of God. Begotten, not made; divine as the Father is divine as our catechism teaches us. This season of Lent we are invited to renew our belief in the uniqueness and importance of Jesus in our lives. No other way, no other truth, no other life and no other One but Him. This is the reason why we follow Him, why we celebrate of His life and why we are baptized in His name.
Part of the divine authority of Jesus is stating truths of our faith. He mentioned in the Gospel today that whoever keeps His word will never taste death. Death remains to be a fearful reality which we all have to suffer and undergo, whether we are rich or poor, young or old, sinner or saint. Why does it frighten us? Because we normally perceived it as an eternal darkness, dead-end, hopelessness and useless anxiety. But there is a kind of compensation in believing that Jesus Himself went through death and on the third day rose again. He triumphs and transcends death! As we commemorate the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus this Lent, let us always treat life and its challenges with a healthy sense of transcendence. Let us profess our full trust and hope in Jesus and pray that He may always guide us in our journey towards His Father and our Father. He, the Word who became flesh and who by obedience to God’s will chose to suffer and die on the cross so that in His Resurrection He may give us new life.