1st Reading: Gen 17:3-9; Psalm: 105. R. v. 8a; Gospel: Jn 8:51-59
OPENNESS TO FAITH
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
There is this kind of look we get from friends who feel we are bloating our ego before them. In situations like this some friends can be so blunt in their confrontation with questions like “Who do you think you are?” or “What do you take us for?” We see similar reaction from some Jews towards Jesus in the gospel of today. Jesus promised his listeners that if anyone keeps his word, he will never see death. This infuriated some Jews who asked him “Are you greater than our father Abraham who died? Who do you claim to be?” These men felt that Jesus was trying to make himself more important than he should.
In an attempt to rubbish the claim of Jesus, these men compared Jesus with Abraham and the Prophets who died. Put differently, they argued that if these great men died, who was Jesus to claim eternality. But Jesus was only stating a fact intrinsic in his nature as God. He is the life-giving creating Word. All things came into being through him the life-giving Word. And so he went further to use the divine name of God “I AM” to emphasise that he existed even before Abraham, and of course before everything on the face of the earth.
One of the obstacles to faith is when we begin to think that God is saying too much or demanding too much from us. When we think this way just like Jesus’ listeners in the gospel of today, we can relax or even rebel on God’s word. The Christian faith is no doubt quite demanding. It can be difficult to keep or accept at times. But the moment we begin to see that these demands are salvation oriented, it can be a turning point for us. The God who gave us life and everything we have needs our co-operation to save this same life. He is the God who respects our free will.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grant us a humble docile heart. Amen.