April 2: Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Alexander Master, Attempt to Stone Jesus, Koninklijke bibliotheek, The Hague, c.1430

Gospel: John 8:51-59

"Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death (NRSV, Jn 8:51)."

Let us pray.

Father, as we reflect upon John’s Gospel, it becomes clear that Jesus is resurrected throughout his entire life here on earth. Death for Jesus, as ignominious as it seems, is not his undoing but rather his hour of glory. Every moment of Jesus’ life is a manifestation, Father, of the living out of your inner life: giving and receiving shared in love. The power of this life goes out from Jesus to heal others who would accept it. No one, nothing, can extinguish this truly divine life. Death then for Jesus is not undoing, a defeat, even a temporary one, later to be overcome. For Jesus, death is passage from a worldly existence into the world to come, where he now sits at your right hand.

Jesus’ death, Father, is truly sacramental, an outward sign of inward grace. Your one act that is saving in every situation is lived out on earth in every moment of Jesus’ life but never more manifest than in his death which sums up in one instant the total giving of his life to you, Father, in love.

Father, may we join with our sisters and brothers of all times and places who have accepted resurrected life here on earth through the Word dwelling within them and whose deaths also are not defeat but passage to a fuller existence with you in the Holy Spirit.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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