Daily Office Readings for Friday; Week 3 of Lent; Year 1
“Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he sent me.” (John 8:42)
If God was our Father we would love Jesus, and all God’s Children. Moving beyond Christianity, any faith or religious tradition that considers the Creator is the Parent of all creation and especially humanity, must understand that God is all about love. And this love is for all creation. We are the work of the Creator. The Creator loves the created and wants the created to love the extent of creation. This is why Jesus says that if we recognized God as our Father we would love Jesus. Not necessarily because he is Jesus but because we can see him as another child of God.
The other part of this sentence is that people are put in our path to love. “He sent me.” Jesus said. People may not necessarily be put in our path to love us. But rather, they are put in our path for us to love them. Jesus spoke to people who knew that the Law required them to love one’s neighbor as one loves one’s self. They failed to do that. And Jesus points that out. By not loving him, they are in violation of the Law of Moses.
Jesus further points out that He (Jesus) is not from here but is visiting. He had to tell them that because they could not tell that he was different. They should have because not like other people Jesus was loving to everybody. That’s odd. It was odd then and is odd today. We just don’t see people who love everybody no matter what. They could not tell that Jesus was an “alien” from heaven. And it might have been the plan from heaven all along, that because they could not tell he was different, heaven was expecting them to receive Jesus and love him as they would all of the human population, as God’s beloved. But it was not to be.
Today’s truth is that we Christians are “grafted” into the heavenly body by the very body and blood of Jesus as he asked us to do as often as we remember him. This is what St Paul said in his First Letter to the Corinthians, “For I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body that is foryou. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way he took the cup also, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.” (1st Cor.11:23 – 25) This “grafting” us into Christ’s body and blood has made us aliens of the earth and citizens of heaven as he is. We are sisters and brothers of Jesus and daughters and sons of God. And as children of God we are naturally created to love everybody! It’s who we are. Nothing more, nothing less. So there is no “if” we are God’s children, we are. God is our Parent. Therefore we must love Jesus and everybody else.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and “Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” John Thomas Frazier Sr.