Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Daniel 13:41-62 + John 8:12-20
April 8, 2019
Please note: Because the Gospel Reading yesterday [for the Fifth Sunday of Lent – Year C] was John 8:1-11, today’s Gospel Reading is changed to the passage that immediately follows it.
“So they said to him, ‘Where is your father?’”
Today’s Gospel Reading has many different threads. There is much going on within the passage. This means that for the Christian who wants to take up today’s Gospel Reading and use it for meditation, there are many options.
At the beginning of the passage, Jesus wants to reveal important truths about Himself and His mission. He begins: “I am the light of the world.” This single sentence could occupy the Christian in meditation for an entire Holy Hour. Unfortunately, because those who oppose Him change the subject, Jesus does not reveal more about this point.
Jesus, however, does engage with the Pharisees on their point about His testimony. They argue: “You testify on your own behalf, so your testimony cannot be verified.” Jesus is willing to argue with them about this, but they surely couldn’t understand the full meaning of His explanation. For His explanation of all that He is and does is rooted in His relationship with His Father.
His explanation prompts a question from the Pharisees. “Where is your father?” The fact that they don’t know where Jesus’ Father is shows that they also don’t know who His Father is. Jesus responds to but doesn’t answer their question. He merely replies, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” This reply might seem to suggest that Jesus is shutting down their argument, but something more is at work.
The evangelist concludes this passage by noting: “no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.” The ignorance of the Pharisees and many others about who Jesus’ Father is and where He is from is secondary. Jesus, of course, could at this point in time have explained about the identity of His heavenly Father. But human words themselves are secondary to Jesus’ “hour”, because in this hour the love of the Father and the Son will be revealed fully for all mankind to witness.