From the Word of the Day
“Surely You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to be?” (John 8: 53)
By now, the potential dialogue between the Pharisees and Jesus has been transformed into controversy. There is no longer the openness to communicate. There remains only a strategic conflict aimed at defending their own positions.
The Pharisees and the Jews present are irritated because it seems their being descendants of Abraham has been diminished. They provoke Jesus by saying that He is pretending to be greater than Abraham, their father in the faith. What effectively rules out any availability to communicate is the reference to the resurrection. It is a veiled expression – those who observe my word will not see eternal death – introduces this theme. Thus, the plot thickens as they ask Him, ‘Who do you think you are?” Jesus is no longer credible. In fact, He comes out with a theme that must be absolutely rejected…the resurrection. This possibility is not considered by the Pharisees. It is not licit to think that life goes on beyond death. At this point, Jesus’ every word is heard as the fruit of His presumption. He does not merit remaining alive; He is dangerous. In their mind, they clearly formulate the idea of eliminating Him.
In my pause for silent contemplation, I will ponder these words of Jesus and ask myself if I really and truly believe Him and I will ask Him to increase my faith day by day.
Jesus, we are horrified at the obtuseness of the Pharisees. Yet, we are not very different. When the unreasonableness of things disturbs us and we find it hard to give the reason for our hope, grant us Your light and grace to hang on to You!
The Voice of the Liturgy
Christ is the Mediator of the new covenant because, through His death, those who have been called receive the eternal life that has been promised. (Cf. Hebrews 9: 15)