A Homily for Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
March 21, 2024
Holy Ghost Church – 8:00 Mass
Genesis 17:3-9, Psalm 105, John 8:51-59

Audio Recording

 

In our Gospel today Jesus states that He alone knows His Father and that the Father glorifies Him because He is the great I AM. The Jews understood that by using this sacred name of God, Jesus was claiming to be God himself. 

As Jesus revealed His identity, He didn’t say, “before Abraham came to be, I was.” He says, “I AM.” This reveals that Jesus not only existed before Abraham, but that His existence transcends all time. He always and everywhere IS. Though this might seem overly philosophical to some, it is an important concept to understand for two important reasons. First, it gives us greater insight into God. But, second, it reveals to us how we ought to relate to God every day.

God is not a God of the past. He is not a God of the future. He is a God of the present moment. God exists outside of time, he exists in the present moment. This is why when we enter into communion with him in meditative prayer we tend to lose track of time. We become immersed in the present moment.

When Jesus returns to establish his eternal Kingdom, time will no longer exist. It will no longer be necessary. There will be no past to remember or future to anticipate. We will all live eternally in God’s presence, which is known as the “Eternal Now.” If we are to enter into a relationship with God, then we must realize that we can only encounter Him in the present moment. He is the Here and Now, so to speak. And we must seek Him here and now, in this present moment alone. 

Both the Old and New Testaments are chock-full of references to living in the present moment, in God’s time. Jesus himself has much to say about this. 

Frequently, He advises us to be alert and stay awake. You can’t stay awake in the past or be alert in the future. They don’t exist. You can only stay awake “now,” the only moment there is. Consider Jesus’ teaching about worry. “Therefore, do not be anxious for tomorrow; tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day” (Mt 6:31-34). 

We are often tempted to live in the future, becoming anxious about what is to come. But God does not dwell in the future for, to Him, all time is here and now. 

Other times we find ourselves dwelling on the past. To the extent that our past has helped or hurt us in this present moment, we need to address it. But the way this is done is by seeking God’s healing grace today, allowing the past to disappear into His abundant mercy.

Reflect, today, upon this deep and mysterious revelation from our Lord. Think about his identity as the great “I AM.” Ponder that name. Ponder its meaning. See it as a way by which Jesus is inviting you to encounter Him in this present moment alone. 

Live in this moment. The past is gone; the future is not yet here. Live where God exists, here and now, for that is the only place you will meet our Lord.

God bless you.