Gospel JN 8:51-59
Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.”
So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died?
Or the prophets, who died?
Who do you make yourself out to be?”
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.”
So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area
Finger Painting: I painted this image yesterday as a simple exercise. The chaos and the confusion in world comes out in my fingers in an image of Christ that is impactful and strong and yet innocent and naive. He is, “I AM.” This is the Christ who truly suffered for us, who wants desperately to make a home within us. We ask to be heard:
Jesus, please hear the prayers of your people:
Hear the uncertainty, the pleas and the cries from nursing homes and emergency rooms.
Hear the murmurs of those who cannot breathe, the whispers of those who grieve in the nighttime.
Hear the thud of stones we cast aside as we release our desires to blame God for this virus.
Hear the hopes of the young and the surrender of those who have caved in depression.
Hear the wants of our children and the longing for touch of those isolated wearing masks and gloves.
Hear the belly laughs of our toddlers in the backyard and the fear of parents peering out the window.
Hear the pillow talk of parents deciding how to make ends meet for their large family.
Hear the young who have only lived in times of entitlement and the old who still live in the shadows of wars.
Hear the pen scrape across the paper as grandparents revise their wills before bed.
Hear the tension in the voices of our dads or the single moms who lay awake at night unable to find money for the family since they live paycheck to paycheck.
Hear the nighttime crawlers in the tent city who wonder if they will survive in the cold with little food and the thoughts that a virus will wash away their friends and their own lives.
Hear the depressed whimper in evening’s darkness who cannot find hope in their souls and who grieve the loss of their teenage friends to suicide.
Hear the sobs of the sorrowed and the tears of those who grieve the dead.
Hear the families teaching the children at home while working on their computers to keep their jobs.
Hear the quiet computers in early morning and late at night, the miraculous machines that keep us all surviving.
Hear the hopes for tomorrow that a new day will heal the sick and give hope and rest to nurses and physicians.
Hear the love that circulates in our small homes.
Hear the tiny footprints of our children who creep into the bedrooms of their parents at nighttime because they know that something is scary.
Hear the music of symphonies on Zoom to squelch fear and hear the tours we take of art museums and national parks on our computers to pass the time.
Hear the, “Hail Mary’s” as our fingers fidget across beads and hear the, “Our Father’s” from the lips of the despairing, and hear the tiny cries our hearts make when we are afraid of what morning will bring.
Hear our cries as we wait for your healing love.