Mar 17 (Jn 8:51-59)

Christus Heri Hodie Semper – Christ, Yesterday Today Forever!
>> This was the theme of the Great Jubilee year 2000.

The theme highlighted the great aspect of the perpetual divinity of the Lord.

He is the same.. yesterday, today and forever! (Heb 13:8)

However, not all are able to digest this fact, that Jesus, could be fully divine.
>> Not all are able to grasp this aspect that Jesus, could be the Son of God.

It is such a debating discussion over the Divinity of the Lord that forms the chunk of the Gospel of the Day.

One of the constant companions of the Lord, all through His life was..being hated!

It was especially His declaration on having a Divine origin that generated greater sparks of hatred.

The debate continues between Jesus and the Jews.
>>The Jews had immense pride in calling themselves as the children of their Father, Abraham.

As the debate continues, the Lord puts forward the gem of His defence…the core of His revelation: ” Truly truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM” (Jn 8:58)

Those words hit the critics of the Lord, direct on the face…
“Before Abraham was, I AM!”

>> “I AM” was the title of God Yawheh!
>> “I AM” was the sole privilege of the Lord Almighty!

This was the name that was given by God to Moses: “I AM who am. This is what you shall tell the Israelites: I AM sent me to you” (Ex 3:14)

>> It was pure blasphemy for any mortal to use it for oneself.
>> It was sheer heretical for any human to apply it to oneself.

I AM – the Name..
… demanded fear as to none other
… commanded respect as to no one
… contained awesomeness as in nothing else

And therefore, the Lord had to face the consequences of this “blasphemous” act:
“So they picked up stones to throw at Him” (Jn 8:59)

And so the life of the Lord expounds an important truth:
>> Where there is the mention of Divinity…
… there are forces of the evil seeking to cast it away.

>> Where there is the presence of the Divine…
… there are powers seeking to destroy the sacredness.

Jesus, the One hated the most, was the Most Divine.
>> Jesus, the One who was always contrary to the moods of the world, was the Most Divine

Fulton Sheen picks up this beautiful aspect, to present a secular, rational and a logical reasoning to see the Truth in the Holy Catholic Church.

We quote him here….

“If I were not a Catholic, and were looking for the true Church in the world today, I would look for the one Church which did not get along well with the world;
in other words, I would look for the Church which the world hated.
My reason for doing this would be, that if Christ is in any one of the churches of the world today, He must still be hated as He was when He was on earth in the flesh.

If you would find Christ today, then find the Church that does not get along with the world!

>> Look for the Church…
…  that is hated by the world as Christ was hated by the world!
…  that is accused of being behind the times, as our Lord was accused of being ignorant and never having learned.
… which men sneer at as socially inferior, as they sneered at Our Lord because He came from Nazareth.
… which is accused of having a devil, as Our Lord was accused of being possessed by Beelzebub, the Prince of Devils.
… which, in seasons of bigotry, men say must be destroyed in the name of God as men crucified Christ and thought they had done a service to God.
… which the world rejects because it claims it is infallible, as Pilate rejected Christ because He called Himself the Truth.
… which is rejected by the world as Our Lord was rejected by men.
… which amid the confusions of conflicting opinions, its members love as they love Christ, and respect its Voice as the very voice of its Founder, and the suspicion will grow, that if the Church is unpopular with the spirit of the world, then it is unworldly, and if it is unworldly it is other worldly. since it is other-worldly, it is infinitely loved and infinitely hated as was Christ Himself.

But only that which is Divine can be infinitely hated and infinitely loved.
>> Therefore the Church is Divine.”

>> Our own lives sometimes becomes an object of hate when we stand for Christ, the Truth

> The more we tend towards being Divine…
… the greater is the opposition we face.

> The more we tend towards being Spiritual…
… the higher is the shame we encounter.

Jesus, is the same, yesterday today and forever

As His true followers, we too will have to undergo agony, pain, humiliation and even suffering….
>> Let us be firm in His grace and stand bold, facing the challenges to our faith
>> Let us grow in our love and commitment to the Holy Church and share in Her suffering.

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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