Again he said to them, “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” Then the Jews said, “Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.”
They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak to you at all? I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father.
So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
Jesus, sometimes I stay late in our chapel, and I stare up at you on the cross. At first, I notice your pain, and I can take it only for so long. After a short time, I often look away. But soon enough, my eyes return, and I fix on you. On your open side. On your fingers reaching out. On your face in agony.
You say in the Gospel today that “when you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he.” Jesus, can’t you be lifted up in some other way? This way is too much for me. Yet, I’m drawn to you here, and I long to reach out and grab your hand. To be with you not just in joy, but here in pain and struggle. To respond to your open arms with my own.
Can I seek you in your cross?
O Christ Jesus,
may your death be my life,
your labor my repose,
your human weakness my strength,
your confusion my glory.
—St. Peter Faber, SJ