Today's Gospel: John 8, 21-30
In John 8:25 the people asked Jesus, “Who are you?” Jesus responded with, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM. . .” When I was younger I was always confused by this reading and Christ's explanation of who he was. This phrase was a mystery to me that seemed more like an unfinished statement. I wanted to ask I AM what? Now that I am older and have acquired more knowledge, I understand that it is a mystery and that is just what God intended. He expects us to complete this phrase with our own experience of Him over the course of our lives. It is our duty as Christians to unravel this mystery.
We are all children of God, in a different way than Jesus, and like children, we learn incrementally. It takes us time to digest concepts, develop skills and to gain understanding to be able to act them. In Jesus day the Jews also struggled with who Jesus was. He was a radical thinker speaking out against the leadership of the time. He was performing healings and drawing crowds. He was a threat that could not be ignored. Today, we struggle with some of those same fears.
Good mysteries unravel through our fears, gradually over a long period of time. As we receive more clues and piece them together, things we thought we understood take on new meaning in the light of new insights. They become clearer. While we may travel down different paths coming to dead ends along the way, eventually we have enough information to solve the mystery. Like the centurion at the foot of the cross, “Truly, this was the Son of God.”
Have you ever read or watched a mystery and thought you had it figured out and upon receiving additional information, realized you needed to begin again?
Jesus, provide me with insights so that I may understand who you are and how I can serve you. Draw me closer to understanding my true path.
Copyright 2016 Cathleen O'Toole
Recently retired after 48 years business and education, I enrolled in the Lay Pastoral Ministry Program at a local Catholic Seminary in search of more information. I am finishing up this program and hope to start a Parish Blog so that fellow parishioners are able to put into writing their faith journeys. I am also planning my fourth pilgrimage to the Holy Land, taking several friends along to share the experience of a lifetime.