Today’s Gospel: John 8:51-59
“Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
In December and into January, we celebrated the feast of the Incarnation — God stepping ‘down’ from eternity to join mankind in time. You and I, and everyone of earthly origin is or has lived in time. We have a measure of it called the past, the present and the future.
Faith and hope in God lets us ponder what it can possibly mean to live in an eternal now. I love Psalm 90:2: “From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.” God’s existence is timeless and hence, Jesus can give us his name as, “I AM.” This expression helps us to consider the Prologue of John’s Gospel which we also heard at the Christmas Mass: In the beginning (at any point that one could start ‘measuring’), the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Jesus is the Word of God. In a sense, He is like an energy that always exists.
Those who ponder such matters tell us that energy can never get ‘lost.’ By that is meant that it can never be destroyed. They say that it can be transformed into another form of energy.
And now – after all that heady stuff – let’s go further and seek how to think of this in our every day lives. Think of something profoundly lovely and awesome such as this: When you pray with a bunch of others in the liturgy – you are forcing air past your vocal cords and an energy is created that rises to the ceiling or apex of your church. And in some way it continues long beyond the time we hear it. Christ told us that He would be with any two or more of us who gather in His Name. Christ was and is present in that energy that came forth from dozens or perhaps hundreds of people who prayed with you during the words, “Holy, Holy, Holy” at the Mass.
That energy – that co-presence of Christ is still active in some way in your Church. And it’s still active in the world. Think of it this way — the prayers of your great grandparents and on down to your current family – all that ‘spiritual energy’ is still at work in God’s creation. And in fact, the energy from Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection and his continuing prayers are still present in all the Masses of all times in our world.
You, dear reader are a part of the very vocal cord energy which said the words I AM. Mind-blowing. Simply mind-blowing.
Have you ever sat on a high mountain ledge, or been in a quiet verdant forest and felt connected with eternity? You were, perhaps experiencing the eternal He who said, “I AM.”
Eternal and omnipresent God — help us to see that in some way we are connected to an eternity of prayer, an eternity of hope, an eternity of joy. Help us to sense your presence in the prayers we pray at each Mass and in our private prayer. Help us to know and love the I AM who came to reconnect mankind with God the Father on the path to eternal joy.
Copyright 2014 Deacon Tom Fox