Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent
The key periods of the faith
He said to them again, “I am going away and you will look for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” So the Jews said, “He is not going to kill himself, is he, because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world. That is why I told you that you will die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins.” So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning. I have much to say about you in condemnation. But the one who sent me is true, and what I heard from him I tell the world.” They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father. So Jesus said (to them), “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM, and that I do nothing on my own, but I say only what the Father taught me. The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.” Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him. Jn 8,21-30
To follow the issues of the faith in the liturgical year is like running the cycling tour of Italy. There are the on the plain laps of the Ordinary Time, during which it is easier to stay on the wheel of the thought of Jesus and there are the mountain laps of the Advent season and of the Lent, in which the major issues of the faith are discussed and in these it is really hard to stand the pace of his proposals for the life. To exit these laps with dignity, it is necessary to be well trained and the only possible training is the prayer. The today’s lap is particularly challenging, because Jesus proceeds with a series of jerks, where in each we risk of detaching ourselves from his wheel. By the first Jesus asks us to believe that the human and divine nature co-exist in him: “You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above”. If we believe with our mind and heart to this truth of faith, we remain bound up to his thinking. By the second jerk Jesus requires us to believe that our faith in him, as the Son of God, saves us from our sins: “If you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins”. “I AM”, in fact, is the definition which, in the Old Testament, God gives of himself. Here, not to be taken out, we must believe that he is God, that we are sinners, but our faith in him saves us. Today, to follow Jesus will not be easy, but through the prayer and the meditation of the gospel, likely we will succeed. Jesus, however, knows that the jerk of the next days will be the toughest for us and then he begins to prepare us by anticipating the content: his work of salvation will go through the moment of the cross when the “Son of Man ” will be “lifted up”. It will be good to increase our prayer not to lose his wheel when we will meditate on this mystery of the infinite love of God.