Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of John (8: 21-30) in which Jesus tells the people about the Father but they fail to understand what he is telling them.Fr Paul says scene in the Temple we’ve heard today is full of questions: ‘Where is your Father?’, ‘Is he going to kill himself?’, ‘Who are you?’. We have to ask ourselves, ‘Are the questioner’s hostile or open-minded? Are they seeking to destroy Jesus or are they just curious?’ This Gospel, Fr Paul says, is made even more mysterious when right at the beginning Jesus states that he is ‘going away’. Then Jesus talks about above and below, truth and falsehood, this world or another world. This is done to show that Jesus is mysterious and unfathomable, and that Jesus cannot be fully comprehended in normal human terms. The most mysterious claim Jesus makes is the claim ‘I am He’, which happens twice in this Gospel. This may be interpreted as a claim to the divine name itself, for ‘I am’ is the name which was revealed to Moses at the Burning Bush (Exodus 3.14). In closing, Fr Paul notes the challenge for us in this Gospel – to have faith and just accept the mystery of Jesus.
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