Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, ‘He is our God,’ though you do not know him. But I know him; if I would say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him and I keep his word. Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.”
Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.” So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, we hear a familiar message from Jesus: “Whoever keeps my word will never see death.” But the Jews reject him, call him possessed and question who he considers himself to be. They can’t see past the fact that Abraham died and think that Jesus is selling Abraham short by saying these words. Even when Jesus tells them that “Abraham [their] father rejoiced to see his day,” the Jews still don’t listen to what he has to say, instead they are busy trying to figure out how this could be when Jesus came after Abraham in time.
All too often we are like the Jews in this Gospel and overlook what God has to say to us because it doesn’t seem to make sense in our terms and our language. We forget that what God has promised for us often times cannot be explained and make sense in our terms, so we put aside his message since it’s hard to follow, right?
As we move closer to the Easter season, try to find an area in your life where you may be turning away from what God may have to tell you, whether it be that one person who you can’t deal with or why your workload won’t seem to lighten up.
– Joe Patritti is a member of the Senior Pastoral Team at St. Louis U. High.
O Lord, take away my heart of stone;
give me a new heart, a heart of flesh, a clean heart!
You are the image of all beauty holiness.
Renew my heart in your image
and seal my heart in your mercy. Amen.
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Please share the Good Word with your friends!