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Jesus, the Father’s ambassador

Gospel Reading: Jn 8:21-30
Jesus said to the Pharisees: “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” 22So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?” 23He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world.

24That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” 25So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. 26I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.” 27They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. 28So Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. 29The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” 30Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

The Gospel presents two contrasting places: below and above. The Pharisees belong to what is below—to this world.

Jesus belongs to what is above—not to this world. Because of this, the Pharisees cannot understand Jesus. In his discourses, Jesus tries to instruct them on the reality of “what is above.”

A very important disposition to understand “what is above” is to believe that Jesus is sent by the Father. “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (Jn 3:16). Although the Son is sent by the Father, the Father has not left him alone (v 29). Jesus does only what is pleasing to the Father; he does nothing on his own but only what the Father tells him.

“Seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Think of what is above, not of what is on earth” (Col 3:1-2).

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.