Paul reads from John’s Gospel (10: 22-30) in which the Jews say to Jesus ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly’.
Fr Paul says this reading is unique as it is the only reading chosen in this Easter season that is part of a controversy and that controversy is with the temple authorities.
We hear that it is winter and obviously Jesus is walking up and down in the portico of Solomon to keep warm. The Jews come and surround him. The gospel also picks up the theme of the Good Shepherd, but it is the hostile questioning of the Jews that sparks the sayings of Jesus.
What we don’t hear, Fr Paul notes, is that immediately after Jesus responds to the Jews in this gospel, they picked up stones to throw them at Jesus.
At the beginning of this gospel, we hear that it is the feast of the Dedication of the Temple. On this festival of the Lord’s return to the temple, Jesus is claiming that he himself is the House of God – that God lives in him. This is what so angers the temple authorities.
The last line of today’s gospel emphasises what Jesus is saying, and Fr Paul invites us to reflect on it as we go about our day today: ‘The Father and I are one’.