Ever present

This week we have been reading from John 8 – it has been a week of tough conversations that followed Jesus’ basic statement: “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12). And the Pharisees then and us now are challenged to discern what we see by that light. This part of John’s gospel is part of the Book of Signs, the seven miraculous signs that people could see and come to believe

  • Changing water into wine at Cana in John 2:1-11 – “the first of the signs”
  • Healing the royal official’s son in Capernaum in John 4:46-54
  • Healing the paralytic at Bethesda in John 5:1-15
  • Feeding the 5000 in John 6:5-14
  • Jesus walking on water in John 6:16-24

…and yet to come in the gospel:

  • Healing the man blind from birth in John 9:1-7
  • The raising of Lazarus in John 11:1-45

In the reflections for the previous two days I have asked “what do you see” in the signs of the gospel? And “what keeps you from the best.”  Of course, the “best” is Jesus, right? Well… if that was just the “easy” or “expected” answer, it is a good answer, but not the best. I would suggest that a clue to the best answer is in the first reading: “I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.” (Gen 17:7-8)

Covenant, the everlasting pact – if that is the best answer, then the answer involves Jesus and you in an everlasting bond of love. It is seen in the refrain of today’s psalm: “The Lord remembers his covenant forever” – the faithful lover, ever present. It is seen in the promise of the gospel reading: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.

These three days of reflections ask: can you see the covenant and its promise – and what keeps you from being all-in, fully committed, and forever in love? When we can answer that, we have a path forward to live the fullness of the covenant.

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