Search
  • acatholic

APRIL 27. EASTER. Wk. 4. Tue. Jn.10. 22-30

It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus replied:


‘I have told you, but you do not believe.

The works I do in my Father’s name are my witness;

but you do not believe,

because you are no sheep of mine.

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;

I know them and they follow me.

I give them eternal life;

they will never be lost

and no one will ever steal them from me.

The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,

and no one can steal from the Father.

The Father and I are one.’


The centrepiece of this reading is Faith; - with the Jews telling Jesus, “If you are the one; - tell us openly”; - but this expectation is based on a requirement Jesus make public a claim he is the Son of God; - and he then go around behaving in a manner consistent with that claim!


But this requirement everything be made clear, and Christ conduct himself as the Son of God, was based on human thinking, where one claims one’s “status”; - and lives accordingly. But this was not Christ’s way; - he wanted to teach another way; - the way of Faith and Humility!


There is a powerful lesson here in the way Christ conducted himself, as what he is “teaching” is he has no desire for earthly “status”; - something completely foreign to those he was with; - the “leaders” of the Jews; - who revelled in their status.


Christ’s focus on the other hand, was on obedience to the Father, which involved a complete rejection of earthly values and desires; - a lesson Christ would spend his life bearing witness to; - and that included spending ninety percent of his life in the obscure village of Nazareth!


The way Christ chose to demonstrate he was the Son of God, was by the way he acted, the teachings he gave, and the miracles he performed; - as he needed to teach his followers his focus was on in pleasing and serving God, rather than man.


The focus of the Jews was obeying the Law; - while the focus of Christ was on obeying God; - a lesson not easily understood; - as it required Faith, and the rejection of earthly values!


Christ’s miracles, which were numerous; - and which would culminate in his resurrection; - were the “evidence” of his Divinity and the need for Faith, something the Jews could not understand; - which was why Christ said:


‘I have told you, but you do not believe.

The works I do in my Father’s name are my witness;

but you do not believe; -

because you are no sheep of mine.


***


From a sermon by Saint Peter Chrysologus, bishop

Each one of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest


I appeal to you by the mercy of God. This appeal is made by Paul, or rather, it is made by God through Paul, because of God’s desire to be loved rather than feared, to be a father rather than a Lord. God appeals to us in his mercy to avoid having to punish us in his severity.

Listen to the Lord’s appeal: In me, I want you to see your own body, your members, your heart, your bones, your blood. You may fear what is divine, but why not love what is human? You may run away from me as the Lord, but why not run to me as your father? Perhaps you are filled with shame for causing my bitter passion. Do not be afraid. This cross inflicts a mortal injury, not on me, but on death. These nails no longer pain me, but only deepen your love for me. I do not cry out because of these wounds, but through them I draw you into my heart. My body was stretched on the cross as a symbol, not of how much I suffered, but of my all-embracing love. I count it no less to shed my blood: it is the price I have paid for your ransom. Come, then, return to me and learn to know me as your father, who repays good for evil, love for injury, and boundless charity for piercing wounds.

Listen now to what the Apostle urges us to do. I appeal to you, he says, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. By this exhortation of his, Paul has raised all men to priestly status.

How marvellous is the priesthood of the Christian, for he is both the victim that is offered on his own behalf, and the priest who makes the offering. He does not need to go beyond himself to seek what he is to immolate to God: with himself and in himself he brings the sacrifice he is to offer God for himself. The victim remains and the priest remains, always one and the same. Immolated, the victim still lives: the priest who immolates cannot kill. Truly it is an amazing sacrifice in which a body is offered without being slain and blood is offered without being shed.

The Apostle says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Brethren, this sacrifice follows the pattern of Christ’s sacrifice by which he gave his body as a living immolation for the life of the world. He really made his body a living sacrifice, because, though slain, he continues to live. In such a victim death receives its ransom, but the victim remains alive. Death itself suffers the punishment. This is why death for the martyrs is actually a birth, and their end a beginning. Their execution is the door to life, and those who were thought to have been blotted out from the earth shine brilliantly in heaven.

Paul says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a sacrifice, living and holy. The prophet said the same thing: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but you have prepared a body for me. Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest. Do not forfeit what divine authority confers on you. Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity. Let Christ be your helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection. Your breastplate should be the knowledge of God that he himself has given you. Keep burning continually the sweet smelling incense of prayer. Take up the sword of the Spirit. Let your heart be an altar. Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice. God desires not death, but faith; God thirsts not for blood, but for self-surrender; God is appeased not by slaughter, but by the offering of your free will.




2 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

AUGUST 1. Ord Time B. Wk 18. Sun. Jn. 6. 24-35

When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, wh

JULY 31. Ord Time B. Wk 17. Sat. Mt 14. 1-12

Herod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of Jesus, and said to his court, ‘This is John the Baptist himself; he has risen from the dead, and that is why miraculous powers are at work in him.’ Now

JULY 30. Ord Time B. Wk 17. Fri. Mt 13. 54-58

Coming to his home town, Jesus taught the people in their synagogue in such a way that they were astonished and said, ‘Where did the man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpen