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Thursday of the 5th week of Lent jeudi de la 5è semaine de carême

“Truly I tell you, if someone keeps my Word, he will never see death.”

Gn. 17,3-9 Ps. 104 Jn. 8, 51-59

Thursday of 5th Week, 17th March, 2016

“In all truth I tell you, ’said Jesus’ that whoever keeps my Word will never see death.”

Gn.17,3-9 Ps.104 Jn.8,51-59

“The Jews said ’Now we know you are possessed. Abraham is dead and the prophets are dead and yet, you say ’’Whoever keeps my Word will never know the taste of death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?’

Jesus answered : ’If I were to seek my own glory my glory would be worth nothing ; in fact, my glory is conferred to the Father, by the one of whom you say, ’He is our God’ although you do not know him.

But I know Him, and if I were to say, ’I don not know him’ I should be a liar, as you yourselves are. But I do know him and I keep his Word. Your father Abraham rejoiced to think that he would see my day ; he saw it and was glad.”

Jesus promises victory over death for those who keep his Word, but the unbelieving Jews aren’t interested in a victory over death. What they want is to be right in the discussion so as to bring dishonour to Jesus.

They prepare arguments so as not to see how Jesus can save them from sin and its consequences. Indeed, one of the consequences of sin is death.

In order to keep Jesus’ Word they would have to change their way of life.

’Abraham had contemplated the day of Hs Coming and had rejoiced to see Him.’

They had all known that God had concluded a Covenant with Abraham, by which He had promised him the salvation of all his descendants. But they ignored the width and the breadth of God’s Light.

Jesus reveals to them that Abraham had seen the Messiah on the day of Yahve, and he had called this day his day and so took a possession of it!

As we move towards Easter, we can understand this struggle which is exerted towards Jesus the Saviour of the world. We renew our faith in Jesus who delivers us from idols and who saves us from ’the image’ of God that we have made up for ourselves.

“The Jews then said ’You are not fifty yet and you have seen Abraham!’ Jesus replied : ’In all truth I tell you, before ever Abraham was, I am.”

With all the power of his divinity united to his humanity, Jesus seeks to glorify the Father. Jesus seeks to glorify the Father, by accomplishing His Will in a way that is perfect.

Jesus said ’I know Him and I keep His Word. The Father knows the Son and the Son knows the Father.’ Their knowledges in the Holy Spirit is total, complete and perfect, it totally gives itself at the same time.

As Jesus keeps the Word of the Father, we keep the Word of Jesus. Therefore adoration becomes as vital for us as breathing is, and we give thanks to God for his immense Glory.

In this revelation, Jesus shows that He possesses the eternal vison of God, and He especially manifests Himself to them as a pre-existing presence, and one present at the time of Abraham.

’Before Abraham existed, I am.’

It is an astonishing declaration of his divinity.They could perfectly understand it and they could equally have believed in Him had they had more knowledge of the Father.

These men who demand Abraham do not wish to be removed ’Leave your country, your culture, your relatives, and go, ’ is what is said to Abram who enters into a path of hope in which each one of us can still find themselves.

Jesus told them ’Abraham never did like you do!’

We too have a hard time removing ourselves from our own ideas and petty certitudes!

It is by His Tenderness and Mercy that Jesus helps us to go beyond the shrivelled vision of God and of mankind. We need to consider how ’the other’ is not necessarily an enemy.

“At this they picked up stones to throw at him ; but Jesus hid himself and left the temple.”

Jesus gives a glorious manifestation of his divinity, he uses the same terms by which God revealed his name to Moses ’I am the One who IS.’

’From all eternity I exist’ said Jesus. The unbelievers who were discussing with Jesus must have been shocked, for Jesus stood there before them and was bearing witness to his divine existence. It is another transfiguration without any bright light.

When we are going through ordeals, ’furious’ with someone, with God or with something, our anger very often proceeds from the same movement : the same ’lie’ is at work that has us lie to ourselves, to God and to others.

Each time we are bothered, we believe we have a right to be so, and it is the same attitude as these men who can’t stand Jesus who bothers them anymore.

Jesus’ love for the poor bothers them, his welcome of human misery is provocative as far as they are concerned.

Jesus said to t he Jews ’Amen, amen, I say unto you, if someone remains faithful to my Word, He will never see death.’

We believe that death does not have the last word, that it is overcome through Jesus’ passion, for He who is God and true man, is perfect Love as well as forgiveness.

We ask for the grace to be stripped of ourselves so as to follow Jesus who gives Life to us.

507 Jeudi de la 5è semaine de Carême Thursday of the 5th Week of Lent

“The Jews said, ’Now we know you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, ’Whoever keeps my Word will never know the taste of death.Are you greater than Our Father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be? Jesus answered : ’ If I were to seek my own glory my own glory would be worth nothing; in fact, my glory is conferred by the Father, by the one of whom you say, ’He is our God,’ although you do not know him. But I know him, and if I were to say, ’ I don not know him,’ I should be a liar, as you yourselves are. But I do know him, and I keep his word.Your father Abraham rejoiced top think he would see my Day; he saw it and was glad.”

The adversaries of Jesus cannot bear that he announces the Love of God and the truth of His Mercy, which go beyond death. “Now we know you have a devil,”they say. But the “possession”they do not know about is the one operated by the devil, “the invisible father of lies”, the possession of men so “sure” of themselves that they even go so far as to take the place of God. As we move towards Easter, we understand this deadly struggle against Jesus the Saviour of the world. We renew our faith in Jesus who delivers us from idols and who saves us from the “image” of God we make in ourselves.

“The Jews then said, ’ You are not fifty yet and you have seen Abraham!’ Jesus replied : In all truth I tell you, before ever Abraham was, I am.”

These Jews had wanted to foil Jesus, kill Him and to kill also a sinful woman! They told him the dilemma they were in : either follow the Law of Moses or follow Jesus who is in contradiction to Moses? Jesus had replied ’ May he who is without

sin be the first to throw a stone!“So off each one went, with their”stones“, but now they are going to throw them at Jesus who will have to hide to escape them! Now, these men said they were for Abraham! Jesus tells them : ’Abraham never acted like you are doing!” In order to obey God, Abraham had left his own country and all that he knew. We, too, have a hard time to get out of our own way of doing things and of thinking, and to put ourselves in the place of others! We should consider that the “other person” is not necessarily an enemy! Abraham was upturned : “Leave your country, your culture, your relations, and go.” He entered into an attitude of hope in which each one of us has herited even today. It is by his Tenderness and Mercy that Jesus helps us to go beyond such a narrow vision of God and of mankind.

“At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.”

By writing on the ground and sending these men back to their own sins, Jesus got out of the dilemma of these sinful men. Whenever we are going through trials and are “furious” against someone, against God or against something, very often our anger stems from the same mouvement : the same “lie” is at work and this has us lie to ourselves, to God and to others. Every time we are bothered about something, we believe that we have to right to be so, and this is the same attitude that these men had towards Jesus, they “couldn’t stand him” for he bothered them. His Love for the poor bothers people, his welcome of human misery is provocative. We need to understand why : Jesus said to the Jews : ’Amen, I tell you, if someone stays faithful to my word, he will never see death." We believe that death does not have the final word, that it is conquered by Jesus’ Passion.

Let us ask for the grace to be stripped of our selves so as to follow Jesus who gives us His Life.