Jesus said to the Jews: "Amen, amen, I say
to you, whoever keeps my word will never see
death." So the Jews said to him, "Now we
are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did
the prophets, yet you say, ´Whoever keeps my word
will never taste death.´ Are you greater than our
father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who
do you make yourself out to be?" Jesus answered,
"If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom
you say, ´He is our God.´ You do not
know him, but I know him. And if I should
say that I do not know him, I would
be like you a liar. But I do know him
and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced
to see my day; he saw it and was
glad. So the Jews said to him, "You are not
yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?"
Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM." So they
picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus
hid and went out of the Temple area.
Prayer: Lord, you are life and truth and goodness.
You are also peace and mercy. How grateful I
am to have this moment to turn to you. Without
you I can do nothing good. In fact, when
I do good, it is you working through me,
despite my failings. Thank you, Lord. Here I am ready
to love you more.
Petition: May I
hear your voice, Lord, and not harden my heart
to that which you ask of me today.
The Real Enemy: Today we find Jesus in animated
conversation with the Jews. They seem to discuss the
same topic – death — but in fact they refer
to two very different understandings of one reality. The
Jews speak of death in a material way, whereas
Jesus speaks of it in a spiritual way, with his
description of death of far greater consequence than the
former. Christ warns us about the gravity of spiritual
death, which is the consequence of serious sin. This is
why the Church traditionally prays, in the Litany of
the Saints, to be freed from mors perpetua (everlasting death),
the spiritual death which Jesus warned against. Lent is
the time to eradicate all forms of this evil
from our lives, especially through the positive practices of
prayer, penance and almsgiving.
2. Only the Spirit Gives
Life: Jesus’ interlocutors are never able to penetrate the meaning
of his words because they think in a purely
material way. Only with a spirit of faith and
the aid of the Holy Spirit can we understand the
things of God. Today’s world is rife with what
we could call a spirit of materialism. It looks
to material things and values as the solution to everything.
But have you noticed how it seems that the
more our material wealth and technical capacity grow, the
emptier we become on the inside, and the more hollow
our western culture becomes? Material things are necessary, for
we are part matter. But a purely material explanation
will never be able to address the deeper needs of
the human person. As Christ said: “Only the Spirit
gives life” (John 6:63).We must strive to adopt a
spiritual or supernatural way of living and see ourselves
and our world from this point of view, so as
not to become blind to a truth that transcends
3. Open to a Challenge: Jesus’ challenge to raise
the eyes of the heart and soul to a
spiritual level is met with fierce opposition. In fact, his
listeners want to stone him! Christ always challenges us
to go higher. And he does this as a
manifestation of his love. How do I respond to this
challenge in my own life?
You have spoken, Lord,
silence of my night
and your word has engraved
your will in my heart.
Because you spoke,
there is a will in you that I know:
It is the will of your commands.
I want to fulfill
that will, Lord.
I want to believe according to
To hope according to your promises.
To love and live according to your guidance and
Resolution: I will foster a more
spiritual way of seeing myself, others and the world.