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Liturgy

Friday of the 5th Week of Lent

Jeremiah 20:10-13; John 10: 31-42

Remember the old cliché, “Talk’s cheap”?  Perhaps you quoted it to someone you knew.  It’s been quoted to me more than once.  It seems in today’s Gospel it is the approach that the Pharisees are using in trying to discredit Jesus who has told them that he is the Son of God.

Since they know his origin and his occupation, as the carpenter at Nazareth, there is no way that he can be anything more than one of them.   As for claiming to be God’s son, they accuse him of blasphemy and decide that he should be stoned to death.   Jesus counters by letting them know that if they don’t believe what he says, then they ought to look at his works for proof of who he is.  His opponents were well aware of the miraculous healings of the deaf, the blind and the lame, along with his teachings, his forgiving of sins, his advice to the disconsolate, and the myriad of other services he did for people.  But they object, that it’s not for the works that they want to stone him, it’s rather for the fact that he continues to claim to be the Son of God.

So they are unmoved by his line of proof.  In his defense Jesus next points out to them their failure in understanding Scripture.  For there it is written: “I said, you are Gods.”  Since Scripture says they themselves are Gods, and Scripture cannot be wrong, it’s foolish for them to stone him for blasphemy when he refers to himself as a Son of God.  Obviously we are all God’s sons or daughters.  Of course, if they still want to stone him for blasphemy, it must be because they are unwilling to accept what he maintains, he is God’s equal.

It also would follow that those who do the works of God must somehow share in the divine nature at least by adoption.  Apropos of this Saint Iraneaus prays to God; “You have come down that we might rise up.  You have become human that we might become divine.”  And the way we rise up and share in divinity is by imitating the way Jesus lived and served others.  Which brings us to a faith message for today.  We may not be empowered to work the miracles like Jesus performed, but following his example in caring for and serving others it leaves us thousands of ways to share in his divine life, so that we too will be known to be God’s sons and daughters.

By Howard Kalb

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