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John 8:21-30

The Word of God

Again he said to them, ‘I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.’ Then the Jews said, ‘Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’ He said to them, ‘You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.’ They said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Why do I speak to you at all? I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.’ They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, ‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.’ As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

John 8:21-30
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Jesus tells us ‘I always do what is pleasing to him’. What does this tell us about the quality of his relationship with his Father. Do I know what is pleasing to God in my daily life?
    • ‘Having loved his own, he loved them to the end’. Talk with Jesus about this.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • In our gospel today Jesus is trying to tell people that He is in fact one with the Father and was sent by Him to share with them the good news of the kingdom of God. He also refers to his crucifixion and resurrection when he tells them “when you have lifted up the Son of Man then you will know that I am He” . This reminds us that our salvation cost Him a great deal and and opens our hearts to the extend of his love for us. The more you know that a person is of value, the more you wish to hear what he or her has to say, especially when they speak to you on a personal level. This is the way the gift of faith operates in us and helps us to listen to Jesus.
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    • The relationship between Jesus on earth and his Father is a mysterious wonder. The Son’s listeners were from below, while he was from above, from the realm of his Father. There was a communication between the Father and the Son that was totally invisible. The mysterious life of Jesus on earth is humbly gripping.
    • The Father is all truth and so is the Son, who only speaks what he has learned from the source of all. Jesus was totally in tune with his Father, in his thinking and doing. The harmony between them is total and divine.
    • Jesus is aware that only when he is lifted up on the Cross will his followers realise who he is. The cross reveals God to us.
    • The Father has not left Jesus alone, but is always with him. The Son acknowledges this, and always does what pleases him.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin.” The time to search for Jesus is now.
    • If I want to see how closely my daily life is aligned with my life priorities, I need only ask myself one question: “How do I spend my time?” What do I do most, and what are the things I postpone? What do I think about most? Aspire to most?
    • If our hearts and our lives are tied to this world, can we really be seeking Christ?
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The discussion is quite heated. "You will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he". Again there is the reference to God's reply to Moses. This is even clearer in the Greek original which reads, "unless you believe that I am". Similarly further down: "When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realise that I am". Jesus hanging on the cross is the ultimate answer to the question "Who are you?"
    • The readings of these days may need to be simplified when brought to prayer. You might take a single verse, or even a single phrase. For example, "The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone". Or sit quietly with the overall mystery of who Jesus is!
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • It is when we see Jesus lifted up on the cross that we realise who he is and why he lived. The rest of the Gospels are like a preface to the Passion. On the cross we see the triumph of love over evil, and our best help in coping with the reality of evil.
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    • Saint John wants the early Christians to realise that Jesus is totally unique: he belongs to the world of the divine. He reveals the mystery of what God is like. When I knock on God’s door, Jesus opens it and invites me in to meet his Father!
    • ‘I always do what is pleasing to the Father.’ This reveals the heart of Jesus’ spirituality. I pray that it may become the truth of my life too, because God is so good to me.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • If we look at the cross of Jesus, we see love. The wood of the cross is alive with love; Jesus on the cross looks at each of us with love.
    • Allow yourself in prayer accept this look of Jesus; his dying look is of love for each of us, personally and as a people. We can take then the questions of Saint Ignatius in looking at the one who is ‘lifted up’ in the love of the father for us, ‘What have I done for Christ? What am I doing for Christ? What ought I to do for Christ?’ In prayer we deepen and enliven our response to such great love.
    • Jesus had a sense in his life that he was not left alone. Even on the cross in praying the prayer ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?', he did not seem alone for he was speaking to his Father. In Jesus we are all loved by the Father and in our lives are never left alone. Our prayer time is the time for allowing ourselves to soak in this mystery of the loving companionship of God.
    • The people who heard Jesus message often took in just the words on the surface. His meaning was hidden from them when they failed to listen on a deeper level, to reflect about what his words might mean for them. This is the work of our prayer: to receive the word of God into our hearts, to go beyond any superficial - even important -meanings.
    • The condemnation of Jesus is reserved for obstinacy, for resolute hard-heartedness. If I ask for God's light to bear on my strong opinions.
    • Those who listened to Jesus were trapped in their logic; their listening was superficial as they failed to grasp Jesus' deeper meaning. Jesus invites me to be close to him, to get to know what he really means. In my impatience, I may look for books to read, inspiration points to inform me or shortcuts to get me there quicker. I accept that Jesus is with me, guiding me into truth and perception, asking only for my love and time.
    • How do I know the people I love? It is not by reading about them, consulting reports or fixing on any single memory. Relationships develop through time being spent, in the sharing of desires, through loving and listening. Lent is an invitation to a deeper relationship with Jesus.