Thursday, March 17, 2016


Genesis 17:3-9; Ps 105 The Lord remembers his covenant for ever; John 8:51-59

I love todays dialogue we encounter in the gospel. 

The jews are not happy with Jesus.  In fact they get a little ticked off because of his comments and at one point they ask Jesus, "Who do you make yourself out to be?"

In other words they are saying, "Who do you think you are?"

I'm sure we have had those words pressed upon our lips and directed toward others we don't quite understand.

Then again in the same gospel the Jews find themselves not hearing correctly. 

Jesus says, "Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day" and the jews respond with, "you are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?"

These two sentences are not the same.  Jesus speaks of Abraham seeing Jesus' day while the jews speak of Jesus seeing Abraham's day.  They aren't the same. 

What we have here is a failure to communicate.   This is the case not only for the Jews but also for ourselves!

Why do we have selective hearing when it comes to Jesus in our life?  Why do we have selective hearing when it comes to being open to God's will or plan unfolding in our life?  How often do we hear  something Jesus isn't actually saying because our own agenda or fear keeps us from receiving it fully.

What is the remedy?

Jesus sums up the reality very clearly, "before Abraham came to be, I AM."

Jesus reminds his listeners that he is one with the Father.  He takes up on himself the name of God revealed to Moses, "I am who am" in Exodus chapter 3.

Jesus is beyond time and space and transcends it.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

This is the remedy to being a good listener.  We trust that God sees even if we don't.

This is why Abram in the first reading is essential.  We are told that Abram prostrated himself  and God spoke to him.

It is in this gesture of humility, setting aside our agendas and what we want to hear from God and what we think we are hearing and opening ourselves up completely that we lean in and incline our hearts more fully to his words and thus our ears are opened.

Prostration is important.  The humble heart is the one that is surprised by the word of God.  The jews were not humble.  They refused to prostrate themselves.  They trusted more in their thoughts about God then what God was speaking in Jesus.  This of course is a warning to all of us.

Prostration leads to an open heart and an attentive ear.

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