9th March

Today’s gospel passage is John 5:17-30. It is copied after the Bible Alive commentary which comes first.

Jesus’ life was governed by one overarching reality: his relationship with his Father. His heart_cloud.gifintimacy with his Father was the source upon which he drew to fulfil his mission and destiny. He did nothing without the Father’s consent. He delighted in obeying and pleasing his God and Father. Every moment of Jesus’ life was an expression of his perfect submission and obedience to the will of God.

Talk of submission or obedience is guaranteed to raise hackles. In one sense this is understandable. We look at such issues from a human perspective and are suspicious of those who claim the right to our obedience. Oppression, suppression and domination have been inflicted on others in the name of authority since time immemorial. The wounds of this kind of abuse don’t heal easily. We are right to resist such misuse of power. There’s a sense in which the ingredient that is missing when authority is abused is love. In contrast, love is abundant in Jesus’ relationship with the Father. Theirs is a relationship of mutual delight. The Son delights in the Father, the Father in the Son. The Son submits to the Father freely and willingly, and the Father affirms the Son in all he does and says.

The amazing truth of revelation is that we are called to celebrate and partake in the love between the Father and the Son. This is not just a theory or a pious platitude. It’s a central teaching of our faith. The way Jesus lived is how we are called to live. How real is our relationship with God the Father? Do we know the Son? Do we understand the Blessed Trinity as the standard of all our relationships? Jesus’ mission was to reveal his Father. Our mission is to know the Father and the Son.

Practically, on a day-to-day basis, what does it mean to know the Father and the Son? The key is our prayer life. It is in prayer that we engage and commune with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We can ask the Father to draw us to himself through the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, I rejoice in your relationship with the Son. Draw me more deeply into the love that you share, and let me know the joy of the communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

########### John 5:17-30 #############

Jesus said to the Jews, ‘My Father goes on working, and so do I’. But that only made the Jews even more intent on killing him, because, not content with breaking the sabbath, he spoke of God as his own Father, and so made himself God’s equal. To this accusation Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
the Son can do nothing by himself;
he can do only what he sees the Father doing:
and whatever the Father does the Son does too.
For the Father loves the Son
and shows him everything he does himself,
and he will show him even greater things than these,
works that will astonish you.
Thus, as the Father raises the dead and gives them life,
so the Son gives life to anyone he chooses;
for the Father judges no one;
he has entrusted all judgement to the Son,
so that all may honour the Son
as they honour the Father.
Whoever refuses honour to the Son
refuses honour to the Father who sent him.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever listens to my words,
and believes in the one who sent me,
has eternal life;
without being brought to judgement
he has passed from death to life.