Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memorial of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.


Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

John 10,31-42

The Jews fetched stones to stone him, so Jesus said to them, 'I have shown you many good works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?' The Jews answered him, 'We are stoning you, not for doing a good work, but for blasphemy; though you are only a man, you claim to be God.' Jesus answered: Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? So it uses the word 'gods' of those people to whom the word of God was addressed -- and scripture cannot be set aside. Yet to someone whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world you say, 'You are blaspheming' because I said, 'I am Son of God.' If I am not doing my Father's work, there is no need to believe me; but if I am doing it, then even if you refuse to believe in me, at least believe in the work I do; then you will know for certain that the Father is in me and I am in the Father. They again wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded their clutches. He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to the district where John had been baptising at first and he stayed there. Many people who came to him said, 'John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true'; and many of them believed in him.

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Faced with the explosion of hatred and the attempt to stone him caused by his preaching of the Gospel, Jesus reacts with the calm of someone who knows that he is doing the will of the Father who is in heaven. And he says to those who are trying to stone him, “I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?” The “Jews” answer that their harsh reaction is not in response to something that Jesus has done wrong, but to his claim—which they cannot tolerate—to be like God. But the poor and weak, whom Jesus helped, loved, and healed, did not react in this way. They continued to follow and listen to him. They had understood that this kind of love could only come from God. But those who look with pride and coldness of heart at the Gospel and the works that come from it remain blind. To defend themselves from a love that tries to draw in all those who listen to it, they repeat the objection that appears the most logical: “It is impossible for salvation to come from the Gospel, from the weakness of the Church, or from the humble witness of the disciples.” This is what this accusation means: “You, though only a human being, are making yourself God.” It is true that Jesus is a true human being, but he is also truly God. This is the mystery that the Gospel reveals to us. This mystery is transferred to the Church, which is simultaneously the work of human beings and God. The apostle Paul defines the Church as the “Body of Christ.” Through the Church, its sacraments, and the preaching of the Gospel we enter into direct contact with God. In this sense we could say that the Church is the work of Christ, or better still, it is his “body” that continues through time. The Christian community is the sacrament, the sign, of Jesus’ presence throughout history. These claims not only fail to stop the Jews, they actually convince them to seize him. But Jesus flees from them. The evangelist John wants to underline that it is not his enemies who capture Jesus; rather it is he who gives himself over to them out of love. For now, he withdraws and retreats to the place where John was baptizing. There, many continued to come to listen to him.