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First reading Genesis 17:3-9

Abraham, the father of a multitude of nations

Abram bowed to the ground and God said this to him, ‘Here now is my covenant with you: you shall become the father of a multitude of nations. You shall no longer be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I make you father of a multitude of nations. I will make you most fruitful. I will make you into nations, and your issue shall be kings. I will establish my Covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, a Covenant in perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land you are living in, the whole land of Canaan, to own in perpetuity, and I will be your God.
  ‘You on your part shall maintain my Covenant, yourself and your descendants after you, generation after generation.’

Responsorial Psalm 104(105):4-9

The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Consider the Lord and his strength;
  constantly seek his face.
Remember the wonders he has done,
  his miracles, the judgements he spoke.
O children of Abraham, his servant,
  O sons of the Jacob he chose.
He, the Lord, is our God:
  his judgements prevail in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant for ever,
  his promise for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
  the oath he swore to Isaac.

Gospel John 8:51-59

Your father Abraham saw my Day and was glad

Jesus said to the Jews:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
whoever keeps my word
will never see death.’
The Jews said, ‘Now we know for certain that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death.” Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?’ Jesus answered:
‘If I were to seek my own glory
that would be no glory at all;
my glory is conferred by the Father,
by the one of whom you say, “He is our God”
although you do not know him.
But I know him,
and if I were to say: I do not know him,
I should be a liar, as you are liars yourselves.
But I do know him, and I faithfully keep his word.
Your father Abraham rejoiced
to think that he would see my Day;
he saw it and was glad.’
The Jews then said, ‘You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!’ Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
before Abraham ever was,
I Am.’
At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.

“I AM”

“Jesus replied, ‘In all truth I tell you, before Abraham ever was, I am’. At this they picked up stones to throw at him…”. Jesus revealed Himself as the great “I am”. We might not consider it a big deal with the phrase “I am”. However, the Jewish listeners of Jesus knew that Jesus intentionally said, “I am” because He was claiming to be God. In Exodus 3:14, God revealed Himself: “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”. Thus, the Jews were enraged with Jesus. Their hearts and minds were completely closed to what Jesus came to tell them.
Today, let us make room for Jesus in our hearts and minds as He reintroduces us to who He is- He is God who loves with compassion, not condemnation. He is a God who never throws a stone at anyone, but reflects mercy. He is a God who suffers with us and is not distant from our pain. Let us be open and listen to Jesus, the eternal and faithful “I Am”, as He speaks to us.
Reflective question:
How open am I to know God as He is?
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year B” by Sr Maria Jose FMVD.