Once again, our lenten gospel for today reports what Jesus said in the temple area during the Feast of Tabernacles. His urgent words address especially those who oppose him. The time is short; the Light that guides the world has appeared, but Jesus “is going away” and those who reject him will die in their sins.
We’re not detached observers of a time long ago, as we listen to this Gospel, watching others challenged to believe. The challenge is not just to someone else; we’re challenged ourselves 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,” for he recognizes that the One lifted up on the cross is indeed “IAM.”
An interesting title for God, isn’t it? “Always there.” Another way of saying the “Eternal One” perhaps, but “Always there” puts it in another way. “Always here” “Always present” “Always powerfully present.”
Our Gospel calls us to reverence the One lifted up on the Cross as the days of Holy Week approach. He is “I AM,” true God, sent by the Father, “who so loved the world that he sent his only Son.” And he will always be there.
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 loves us so much,
keep me in mind of you,
save me from forgetfulness. Amen. .