Bible Diary English

April 7, 2022

First Reading: Gen 17:3-9
Psalm:  Ps 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
The Lord remembers his covenant forever.
Gospel:
Jn 8:31-42 

Thu: Lenten Weekday/ John Baptist de la Salle, p, rf

Gn 17: 3-9/ Ps 105: 4-5. 6-7. 8-9/ Jn 8: 51-59

1st Reading: Gen 17:3-9
Abram fell face down and God said to him, “This is my Covenant with you: you will be the father of a multitude of nations. No longer will you be called Abram, but Abraham, because I will make you the father of a multitude of nations. I will make you more and more famous; I will multiply your descendants; nations shall spring from you, kings shall be among your descendants. And I will establish a covenant, an everlasting Cove­nant between myself and you and your descendants after you; from now on I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you, for generations to come. I will give to you and your descendants after you the land you are living in, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession and I will be the God of your race.”
God said to Abraham, “For your part, you shall keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you, generation after generation.

Responsorial Psalm; Ps 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
The Lord remembers his covenant forever.

Gospel: Jn 8:51-59
Truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never experience death.” The Jews replied, “Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died and the prophets as well, but you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never experience death.’ Who do you claim to be? Do you claim to be greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets who also died?”
Then Jesus said, “If I were to praise myself, it would count for nothing. But he who gives glory to me is the Father, the very one you claim as your God, although you don’t know him. I know him, and if I were to say that I don’t know him, I would be a liar like you. But I know him and I keep his word.
As for Abraham, your ancestor, he looked forward to the day when I would come; and he rejoiced when he saw it.”
The Jews then said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” And Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” They then picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and left the temple.

 

 

 

Reflection:

 

Jesus as “I am”
The conflict now reaches the flashpoint and boils over when Jesus claims ontological priority and eternal existence before Abraham, by appropriating the name of God to himself: “Before Abraham was, I am.” At the Feast of the Tabernacles where God’s Name was invoked, it was easier for people to associate Jesus’ self-referential, present tense use of “I am” with the “I am” in Exodus (3:14) and Isaiah (43:13). Ironically, the very same crowd that denied knowledge of anyone wanting to kill Jesus (cf. Jn 7:20), now takes up stones to kill him by the prescribed penalty for blasphemy (cf. Lev. 24: 16, 23). In doing so, they prove Jesus right: that they were descendants of Abraham only in flesh, but not in spirit. For, in the First Reading, we find Abraham prostrating before Yahweh acknowledging Him as his God, whereas his descendants take up stones to kill the same God.

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