Fr Paul reads from John’s Gospel (10: 31-42), in which the Jews gather stones, ready to kill Jesus, however, Jesus was able to escape and travel to the far side of the Jordan River.

Fr Paul says that we are left with no doubt about the confrontation with Jesus and his opponents. Right from the very beginning of this Gospel we hear they were gathering stones in which to stone Him and kill Him. We see at the end, that they wanted to arrest Him as well after a further dialogue with Him. However, Jesus alludes them in this point in time and goes to the far side of the Jordan.

This confrontation takes place at the time of the Festival of the Dedication and in John’s Gospel there runs a theme of Jesus taking over all the festivals of Judaism. Fr Paul says we know and have known Jesus takes over the Sabbath and does the work of God. Furthermore, we know that Jesus takes over the Festival of Tabernacles by saying and declaring that he is the source of the living water, which was a part of the ritual of this Festival. And we will see in the weeks to come that He will take over the Passover and make it the Festival of the New Covenant.

In today’s Gospel we hear that Jesus takes over the Festival of the Dedication saying that He was the one who was truly consecrated by the Father not the temple whose rededication is being celebrated. We also learn in this Gospel that the real reason the Jews condemn Jesus is because He claims to be the divine.

For our Gospel reflection today, Fr Paul asks that we may reflect on this question: ‘do we believe this claim of Jesus?’