Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Jeremiah 11:18-20 + John 7:40-53
April 6, 2019
“Then each went to his own house.”
This morning’s Gospel Reading is fairly unusual in that Jesus neither appears nor speaks. The passages focuses upon the reactions of various persons to Jesus, or rather, to what He had just said. In fact, the first sentence of today’s Gospel Reading begins, “Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said….” So to make sense of today’s passage, we need to recall yesterday’s.
In yesterday’s Gospel Reading, Jesus only spoke three sentences: “You know me and also know where I am from. Yet I did not come on my own, but the one who sent me, whom you do not know, is true. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” It’s these statements that give rise to the varied responses from the persons in today’s passage. They argue with each other about Jesus’ origin, which in turn bears on His identity.
These persons’ confusion about where Jesus is from and who He is explains the final sentence of today’s Gospel Reading: “Then each went to his own house.” That might well seem an anodyne statement, but it’s symbolic of a more important truth: that only Jesus can unite God’s people in the same “house”. While the literal meaning of the word “house” in this final sentence is certainly an earthly dwelling place, its spiritual meaning is the House of God, which is another way of speaking about the Mystical Body of Christ. Only by agreeing upon the true identity of Christ can God’s people find their true home in the Church.