In today’s Gospel, Jesus says “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize
that I AM.” Perhaps, the invitation for me is to look upon the crucified-risen Christ and believe that I will also be lifted up along with Him both in suffering and in glory.
God is mysteriously at work in people’s lives. He is present in times of troubles,
disappointments, sufferings, hardships, chaos, among others. He always reveals Himself and communicates the truth. These revelations and works of Him are difficult to recognize yet He is still communicating to His people although we often disregard His presence.
Reflecting on it, I remember one of my significant experiences in the seminary formation
when I experienced a chaotic life. There was a time when I felt that God had left me. By not being inspired to do things heartily was a sign for me that God seemed absent in my journey. Likewise, in times when I would not be able to grasp the lessons well in theology classes, it would always bring me into a realization that God brought me into difficult situations in order for me to recognize His abiding presence.
Chaos prevents me from recognizing God. However, He uses people and situations to be
an instrument of His redeeming and sanctifying love. Therefore, the great challenge for me as a future priest is to be always discerning of the presence of Christ and my mission is to become authentic proclaimer and witness of the Good News as He is being lifted up for the people, in His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension.
By Sem. Glicerio Tano
THE GOSPEL TODAY
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come.”
So the Jews said,
“He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”
He said to them, “You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins.”
So they said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
“When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.