Thursday, 29 March 2018

ST. JOHN 5:22-23


Continuing the meditation on chapter 5 of the Holy Gospel according to St. John, this Holy Thursday, it is good to recall the Sacred Triduum is active remembering of all Jesus teaches, does for us.

It is part of the truth-witnessing of the Church, of our faith, that in the liturgies of Christmas, Epiphany, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, Easter Sunday, and at the consecration in every Holy Mass, we proclaim in the present tense, the personal tense: this is the night; this is the day; this is My body, this is My blood.

We tend to think, mainly because of what our eyes perceive externally, of heaven as the place where God dwells, above us.

Yet the reality is that God is not above us, in the spatial sense of an above or a below.

True He is beyond the confines of the cosmos, which is finite, that is has a limit, even if with the best of scientific instruments, we humans cannot ‘see’, as we can for example at the shoreline where the limit of the ocean is.

God, Father, Son, Holy Spirit is present in all places, in everyone: LORD, You have probed me, You know me: You know when I sit and stand; You understand my thoughts from afar. You sift through my travels and my rest; with all my ways You are familiar. Even before a word is on my tongue, LORD, You know it all. Behind and before You encircle me and rest Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, far too lofty for me to reach. Where can I go from Your spirit? From Your presence, where can I flee? If I ascend to the heavens, You are there; if I lie down in Sheol, there You are. If I take the wings of dawn and dwell beyond the sea, Even there Your hand guides me, Your right hand holds me fast. If I say, “Surely darkness shall hide me, and night shall be my light” Darkness is not dark for You, and night shines as the day. Darkness and light are but one. You formed my inmost being; You knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise You, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works! My very self You know. [Ps.139:1-14]

He is God within, because Jesus dwells among us, as St. Paul teaches: ......Christ is all and in all. [Col.3:11], for the Holy Trinity lives within every human being, for we are immortal souls in His image and likeness, alive because He has created us, breathed life into us: …..the Kingdom of God is within you. [Lk.17:21], For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly await for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He Himself is able to subdue all things to Himself. [Phil. 3:20,21].

Again, it is vital to hear, to open wide the doors of our beings to, that we be penetrated by all the words and actions of Jesus.

V.22=For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgement to the Son…..

This is part of the subduing St. Paul refers to.

We have revealed to us how Jesus judges in Mt. 25:31-46, where we see judgement is just and merciful, just because judgement is based upon the free choices we have made to love or not love, merciful because Jesus Christ presents Himself in the ‘disguise’ of every human being we encounter, presents Himself at the same time as the opportune moment to choose to love or not love.

Love is not static, but active, active as external gestures of service, forgiveness, patience, listening, truth speaking; interiorly as intercessory prayer for others.

Indeed, we should be conscious that judgement occurs each time we make a choice to love, or not.

If we choose love, then …of His fullness we have all received grace for grace. [Jn.1:16], if we choose not to love then immediately, with for example the Jesus Prayer, trust in Divine Mercy, we beg forgiveness and begin again, for in Him in every moment we are graced to begin again.

V.23=that all should honour the Son just as they honour the Father. He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent Him.

When I was a boy, seventy plus years ago, by teaching from my grandfather, indeed by osmosis from society in general, children were taught to honour and be honourable.

To honour, for example, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament by genuflecting on entering and leaving the Church, by bowing our heads when hearing His Holy Name; parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, by using the proper honourific; likewise we boys were taught to honour our elders and women, by rising if we were seated and they entered a room, by holding doors open for them, making sure we gave them our seat on the trolley bus.

Personal honour is to have integrity, to treat ourselves with respect, thus to be an honourable person who moves through life, in a secular sense, with dignified self-confidence, speaks truth, yes obeys the laws and customs of the country, so long as neither of those contravene the law of God, for that would be dishonourable.

To honour the Father and the Son, possible by cooperating with the Holy Spirit – which is to honour Him – is to live the Gospel with our lives without compromise, to love one another, for that at its core is how we honour the Father and the Son, remembering we have the grace-gift of the Holy Spirit to do so, because Jesus in His Passion and Death, embraced dishonour, humiliation, for us.

I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God, your spiritual worship. Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect. [cf. Rm.12:1]

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