Reflection on the Daily Readings for 4/01/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Wednesday of fifth week in Lent: Daniel 3:14-20. 91-92.95.
Response is Daniel 3:  John 8:31-42. Lectionary # 254:

Again we have some events from the prophet Daniel.  In fact, our
first reading and the response is from Daniel.  The first scene is the
episode of Daniel and his companions in the fiery furnace. God sends his
angel to save them and there is a reconciliation with the King who
recognizes the power of the God of the Israelites.  Praise is offered right
from the Book of Daniel for God's miraculous help.  They praise God
singing, "Glroy and praise forever."
In the Gospel Jesus continues to dialogue with some of the Judeans
about his origin from the Father; they counterpoint him with their origin
from the Patriarch Abraham, the Father of all believers.  Jesus understands
where they are coming from but challenges their fidelity to the example of
Abraham, whereas he affirms his origin as coming from God the Father and
In looking at the heat and argumentation of this chapter, we come to
realize we are again more in the time of the separation from Jewish
Christians from those who did not accept Jesus' words and practices. We are
probably seeing a dialogue that is characteristic of the polemich between
Christian Jews and Jews in the eighties of the first century.  John's
Gospel reflects this the most among the four Gospels.  Of course, the God
of Abraham is the God of Jesus and the Jews.  However, Jesus' dialogue
reveals his origin and he affirms that he and the Father are one.  He even
witnesses to the Divine Name by saying it of himself "I AM HE."  Thus this
Gospel of John divides the lines sharply both in the controversy between
Jesus and the leaders and now in the separation of the synagogue from the
Church.  For us as individual believers and as Christians it remains the
Gospel of decision making in our own existential situations and also in the
doubts and problems we too have with understanding who Jesus really is.
John demands of his readers to put one's faith and trust in the person of
Jesus, Son of God. Amen.