Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent

What is Jesus up to? Whatever His Father is up to. “…the Son cannot do anything on His own, but only what He sees the Father doing; for what He does, the Son will do also.”

Later in John’s Gospel, at the Last Supper, Philip will ask Jesus to show them the Father, to which Jesus replies, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) Today Jesus reveals to us the unity He shares with the Father and that He is doing “the will of the one who sent” Him.

What is the will of the Father? According to Jesus’ words today it is to raise the dead to life. Notice, as in earlier readings this week, the importance of hearing and believing; it is literally a matter of life and death. “…whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life…the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.”

Jesus is the Word of God; “listening” to the Word of God is more than hearing His words but it is a matter of receiving the Word of God into one’s heart. In other words, when we embrace Jesus with our whole being then we are receiving, truly, the Word of God and are “listening” to the Father. “For just as the Father has life in Himself, so also He gave the Son the possession of life in Himself.” Jesus is, after all, “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6), and when we consider receiving Jesus with our whole being as listening to the Word of God we might recall these ancient words and realize their full meaning: “… it is not by bread alone that people live, but by all that comes forth from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:3)

Let us listen attentively to Jesus, the Word of God—the living promise of God’s love for us— and receive Him with our whole being. St. Benedict exhorted his followers to “listen with the ear of the heart”; may our hearts hearken to the One who has “the words of everlasting life.” (John 6:68)

March 18th, 2015