Fifth Thursday of Lent

Readings: Gn 17: 3-9 / Ps 105: 4-9 / Jn 8: 51-59

In today’s readings the intimacy and the abundance of the covenantal relationship between God and God’s people is elaborated.

In the first reading God renames “Abraham” and he will “become” and God will “make” him a father to all the nations. In this interaction we can feel God lovingly is shaping Abraham. The repetition of the phrase a “host of nations”, that God will make Abraham “exceedingly fertile” and will make “nations of you” emphasizes great abundance. The covenant is an “everlasting pact”. And, God says Abraham and his descendants must keep the covenant too.

This covenant is so substantive and sure that when we read in John’s Gospel what “the Jews” say we are surprised. Jesus states “You do not know him”. Jesus states if he were to say he (too) does not know God he would be “a liar” like them.  Jesus articulates the broken relationship between the Jews and God.

Jesus then describes his own relationship with God as intimate, like the relationship between Abraham and God. Jesus calls God “Father”, Jesus keeps God’s word. And he reveals, Jesus is I AM.

Consider:  What is my relationship with God? Am I holding up my part of the covenant?  Am I keeping the faith? If there is more distance between us than feels right, perhaps during the remainder of Lent we can pray to narrow that gap, to seek the near and warm and loving embrace of God.

Anne Patricia Minicozzi
Center for Faith and Learning