March 17, 2016 – Thursday in the 5th Week of Lent

March 17, 2016 – Thursday in the 5th Week of Lent

Saint for the day: Patrick (415? -493?)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Genesis 17:3-9

Psalm 105

John 8:51-59

Jesus says, “Before Abraham was, I Am!”

When Moses encounters God on the mountain he asked, “What do I tell the people if the ask, ‘Who sent you?’” He is told, “I Am” sent you. Not “I was,” Not “I will be.” But “I am!”  This statement is the basis of our timelessness concept of God and it is the foundation upon which Jesus rests his authority: “Before Abraham was, I AM!”

The Jews object saying, you’re not old enough to have know Abraham yet Jesus holds his ground and tells them, “Whoever hears my words – and follows them- will never see death.” We are like the Jews at the time of Jesus and question him on this statement. After all, Abraham – and indeed all the prophets – are dead. So, what is Jesus talking about? It forces us to rethink our understanding of “death.” All of us tend to look at “being” as beginning at birth and ending at death. Jesus is trying to show (by his own death and resurrection) that “life is not ended but, rather, changed.” In this sense, we should spend more time thinking about what we are to become rather than worrying about what we were. God is calling us to leave our homeland and our securities and go into the land “that I will show you.” All of us need to be reminded of this basic reality of life and take it more seriously. Can we think in terms of this being the only moment of salvation that we know. We’re not focusing on “I WAS!” or “I will be!” But, rather on “I am!”

As we are about to enter into the Holy Week let us try to place ourselves in this here and now moment of salvation and let the false notion of following a “I WAS” God or a God who “will be” and see Jesus as the God of “I Am!”

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