The Jews took up stones again to stone him. Jesus replied, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?” The Jews answered, “It is not for a good work that we are going to stone you, but for blasphemy, because you, though only a human being, are making yourself God.”
Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ —and the scripture cannot be annulled—can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me. But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried to arrest him again, but he escaped from their hands.He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing earlier, and he remained there. Many came to him, and they were saying, “John performed no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.” And many believed in him there.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Each year in my 2nd grade Sunday school class we retell the story of Jesus’ passion, from Palm Sunday to Easter morning. The question 7 and 8 year olds inevitably ask is why anyone would want to kill Jesus. They want to know what people thought Jesus did wrong, why he was punished so harshly.
Jesus answers the question in today’s reading when says that “the Father is in me and I am in the Father”. At the most essential level, Jesus was killed because he loved like God loves. He did not exclude, judge, or punish. The danger of inclusive love is something second graders understand well, especially as they begin to navigate the murky waters of peer pressure.
As adults, the pressures to exclude, judge or punish don’t subside, but take on new layers of complexity. In what areas of your life do you struggle to love like God does – inclusively, without judgment or prejudice?
—Mark Bartholet is the Pastoral Associate for Faith Formation at St. Peter Catholic Church, a Jesuit-staffed parish in Charlotte, North Carolina. He is also a graduate of John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio.
True love consists in sharing what one has and who one is with those one loves. Love ought to show itself in deeds more than in words.
—St. Ignatius LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!