Another excellent reflection from the Magis Institute. Touches on each Christian’s core identity in baptism as a beloved son or daughter of the Father, and how we best learn to live that identity through Jesus. All in the Ignatian mode of prayer. Gotta love it.
Friday, 15 April 2011
Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent
“I’ve got your back.” When faced with trying times or threatening circumstances, few words can give us such courage. We feel empowered, supported, and justified in our cause, knowing we do not face the fears alone.
“If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.
In today’s gospel from John, Jesus is betrayed by his own Jewish people who seek to stone him for blaspheming God. We hear in the first reading from Jeremiah an echo of what might have been going through Jesus’ mind:
I hear the whisperings of many:
“Terror on every side!
Denounce! Let us denounce him!”
All those who were my friends
are on the watch for any misstep of mine.
Jesus faces the sad reality of His followers. When things get tough, those who were amazed at His years of ministry have turned on Him. He is here alone, with no one saying, “I’ve got your back.” No one, that is, except for God the Father. It is Jesus’ relationship with His father that drives out all fear and keeps Him cool and collected in facing His enemies. Now, let us pay close attention to where Jesus goes when He escapes their clutches:
He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.
Picture Jesus returning to the site of His baptism in the river Jordan. It is here that God the Father calls Jesus His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased.
Our human relationships are fragile and may disappoint us. Where do I face fears, anxiety, and that gnawing feeling that no one “has my back”? Imagining praying beside this river Jordan, as God the Father addresses you as well: “You are my beloved child; with you I am well pleased.” May the grace of today be greater interior knowledge of ourselves as beloved children of God the Father.
Mr. Joseph Simmons, SJ