From the Word of the Day
Where is your father? (John 8: 19)
The week, the liturgy presents us with the entire Chapter 8 of John’s Gospel. Jesus has already shown us that the Law is the one God has inscribed in our heart, just as the prophets Ezekiel and Jeremiah had given us to understand. Now Jesus prepares to take down all the rest of the religious superstructures that the Jews had been able to intertwine with God’s revelation. John accompanies us in this work of demolition, associating the great Hebrew feasts with the newness introduced by Jesus and describing the approach of Jesus as teacher. He prepares a debate that obligates the listeners to interact with Him and take a position, clarifying His idea and allowing the emergence of their contradictions and falsities.
Today, we are at the Feast of Booths that recalls the episode of the Exodus, where the Jews had to live under tents in the desert full of light and where the only guide was God’s luminous cloud. In the midst of the feast, Jesus proclaims that He is the Light of the world, which is perceived as blasphemy. Who is His witness? Jesus names His Father. They ask Him, ‘Who is your Father?’ Where is He so that He can confirm Your words?
The dialectic is on different levels and meanings. Jesus does this purposely so that His questioners would be obligated to reason about the questions and the answers.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I shall ponder Jesus’ way in bringing people to the truth and ask Him to enlighten me always.
Lord, which Father am I seeking? What image of Him have I made? Let my searching and my questioning be authentic and honest; ready to question my own ideas.
The Voice of St. Thomas Aquinas
Jesus’ response is mysterious. In fact, because they asked not from a desire to learn but to entrap, Christ does not reveal the truth to them, but first denounces their ignorance and then explains how we can arrive at the knowledge of the truth.