Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent at Mississippi Abbey

My father liked riddles and rhymes.  Like this popular one, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.”  Or, this riddle: A man came to visit a girl in prison.  The jailer said, “What’s your relationship to this girl?” He replied, “Brothers and sisters I have none, but this girl’s father is my father’s son.”  The jailer let him in. What’s his relationship to this girl?  Well, “my father’s son” can be him or his brother.  But he has no brothers or sisters so he is  “my father’s son.”  He’s the father of this girl.    

When Jesus was asked “Who are you?” and, “Why are you doing such things on the Sabbath?”  His answer was like a riddle. He replied, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.”  But somewho were listening understood him right away, “he was not only breaking the Sabbath, he was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.” 

It was unheard of for anyone to call God, “My Father.”  But Jesus calls God “My Father,” or “The Father” 156 times in the Gospel of John.  Jesus says, “The Father loves the Son,” and “those who love me will be loved by my Father and I will love them and reveal myself to them” (Jn 14:21).  The Son of God had no brothers or sisters, but Jesus changed all that.  Now all who love him are his brothers and sisters, and God is our Father, because in Jesus we have become sharers in divinity, children of God.