Jesus celebrated the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem, John’s gospel says. (John 10,31-42) It’s a feast celebrated sometime in late November to late December and recalled the rededication of the temple after its profanation by Antiochus Epiphanes in the 2nd century BC.
John’s gospel looks at the Jewish feasts as signs that reveal Jesus and inspire his teaching and miracles. On the Sabbath, (chapter 5) he heals the paralyzed man at the pool at Bethsaida; the Son will not rest from giving life, since his Father never rests from giving life. On the Passover (Chapter 6), he is the true Bread from heaven, the manna that feeds multitudes. On the Feast of Tabernacles (chapter 7-9) he reveals himself as the light of the world and living water. On the Feast of the Dedication, he claims to be the true temple, who dwells among us and makes God’s glory known.
Once more in today’s gospel, Jesus proclaims his relationship to the Father “the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Yet, once more hostile listeners are blind to the signs and accuse him of blasphemy, trying to stone him or have him arrested. But Jesus evades them and goes to a place across the Jordan where John baptized. “Many there began to believe in him.”
Many signs are given to us– the scriptures, the sacraments, the witness of the saints. It would be tragic not to follow them to the Word made flesh!
“To maintain this divine friendship, frequent the sacraments, namely confession and holy Communion. When you approach the altar do so for this one reason alone, to let your soul be melted more and more in the fire of divine love. Remember that you are dealing with the holiest action that we can perform. How could our dear Jesus have done more than to give himself to be our food! Therefore let us love him who loves us. Let us be deeply devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. In church we should tremble with reverential awe.” ( St. Paul of the Cross, Letter 8)
Lead me on, O Lord,
Through your holy signs,
through them, let me come to you. Amen.