In today’s Gospel, Jesus responds to the persecutions of the Pharisees by revealing His Divinity as the Son of God the Father. Rather than backing down to avoid conflict, Jesus responds very clearly with the truth and the purpose of His Presence among them. While this will lead to His crucifixion and death, Jesus knows that this is the Father’s plan that will lead to victory over death through His resurrection.
His words to the Pharisees and everyone listening, and also for us cannot be more profound. “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation but has passed from death to life.” Jesus, united with the Father, has now united himself with us. He became one of us, complete with our mortality, so that we could become one with Him, complete in His Divinity.
St Augustine describes this condition as a “wonderful exchange” between God, through Jesus the Son, and all humanity. "Unless the Word of God had first assumed our mortal flesh he could not have died for us. Only in that way was the immortal God able to die and to give life to mortal humans. Therefore, by this double sharing he brought about a wonderful exchange. We made death possible for him, and he made life possible for us." (excerpt from Sermon 218c,1)
Jesus states that to accept him is life - a life of abundant peace and joy with God. But if we reject him, then we freely choose for death - an endless separation with an all-loving and merciful God. Do you want the abundant life which Jesus offers? Believe in him, the living Word of God, who became a man for our sake and reject whatever is false and contrary to the Gospel - the Good News he came to give us.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
How will I respond to the loving sacrifice of Jesus’ death and resurrection so that we could have eternal peace and joy?