In our gospel today (John 8:21-39) Jesus speaks again in the temple area during the Feast of Tabernacles to those opposing him. The time is short; the Light guiding the world has appeared, but he “is going away” and those who reject him will die in their sins.
Are we detached observers listening to this gospel, watching others challenged long ago? We’re challenged now to answer the question: Who is Jesus Christ?
He is “I AM,” a divine title his enemies find blasphemous, but believers find true. In Hebrew it means “He who is always there.” Later in John’s gospel, Thomas bows before Jesus and says “My Lord and my God,” as he recognizes that the One lifted up on the cross is indeed “I AM.”
Our graphic above presents the Cross as a place of healing. In our first reading for today Moses places a serpent on a pole to heal the people on their desert journey.We reverence the One lifted up on the Cross.. He is “I AM,” true God, sent by the Father, “who so loved the world that he sent his only Son.” He was lifted up on a Cross and will always be there as a sign God is with us in our woundedness, our suffering and death..
In an early letter to Bishop Count Peter Garangi, who worked to establish the Passionists as a new congregation in the church, St. Paul of the Cross emphasized the importance of the mystery of the passion and death of Jesus as a revelation of God.
“So many believers live in forgetfulness of how much our Divine Savior did and suffered; they sleep in a swamp of evil. We need zealous workers to awaken them from their sleep in darkness and the shadow of death by the trumpet of God’s word and by meditating on the Passion of Jesus Christ, so that God be glorified by many who will be converted and pray and lead a holy life.” (Letter 266)
Do we live in forgetfulness?
Lord Jesus Christ,
Draw me to your cross
And show me your wounds, your bitter death, your triumph over the tomb.
God with us, always there,
God who shares our humanity,
God who loves us so much
help me keep you in mind,
save me from forgetfulness.
So many people have turned away from the love of God believing that they can solve it all! When I see all those doctors and nurses and health care providers working night and day, I see God working in them and through them. That’s the only way to beat this virus. God being lifted up , glorified and at work. Our God is a God of pure love, His dying on that Cross shows us that!
We must turn to Him again! We must believe that He is with us and would never abandon us! Our Lord is a healer that works through His Holy Spirit. Yes, the Holy Spirit right now is with all the doctors, nurses, health professionals, scientists, and even us! Let the Holy Spirit of God work with us and through us! Let our God shine and light the world with His love! Let’s find our way back to Him! Let’s lift Him up high! Let’s show Him that we believe in His love and let’s glorify and praise His name!
We love and adore You, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit! I believe, I believe, I believe!!!!!!
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Lift high the cross is a hymn we sing. Yet the cross is a contradictory symbol. Two pieces in different directions: vertical and horizonal. On the crucifix Christ’s body hangs in between the two woods. We are immersed in our global health crisis: virus spreading horizontally from one place to another. At the same time we look above the mundane, seeking Divine assistance, pleading for God’s grace to reach those suffering and those caring for virus patients.
Thanks, Berta. We have to cry out to God. “The Lord hears the cries of the poor. Blessed be the Lord.
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Some things we’d like to forget,
Bringing to mind the pain of loss,
Dwelling on unwanted hurts,
May deepen the wounds.
Other things we would regret:
Unsuitable partners chosen,
Poor business decisions,
One thing we surely need to recall:
God’s great love for each one,
Christ’s cross of suffering and death,
Rather than forget Divine love for all,
Hold a crucifix and gaze upon love.
I asked Jesus, “How much do you love me?”
He stretched out his arms and died.