Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

Scripture Readings: Is 49:8-15;  Jn 5:17-30          

My father liked riddles and rhymes.  Like this popular one, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream.”  Or, this riddle: “Brothers and sisters I have none, but this man’s father is my father’s son.”  What’s my relationship to this man?  Well, “my father’s son” can be me or my brother.  But I have no brothers or sisters so “my father’s son” has to be me.  Then this man’s father who is my father’s son, is me!    

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 those who 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, equal to God.      

                                          

 

Wednesday in the Fourth Week of Lent

[Scripture Readings: Is 49:8-15; Jn 517-30]

St. Teresa of Avila Eternal life! When St. Teresa of Avila was only seven years old she used to think about the meaning of eternal life and eternal death. Sometimes she would cry out: “O Eternity, Eternity! To rejoice for all eternity! To be tormented for all eternity! To be in joy without end! To be in pain without end. Oh, who can find words to describe it?”

One dictionary definition of eternity is “Time without end.” But for God eternity is “infinite existence all at once.” There's no sequence because nothing can be added or taken away from what is infinite.

Albert Einstein
A scientist, I think it was Albert Einstein, compared God's eternal existence to all of time in this way. He said, take a roll of movie film, and cut each frame apart. Stack the frames one on top of the other until you have a perfect cube. Every frame inside the cube is a present moment, with the frames underneath forming the past, and the frames above forming the future. At one corner of the cube is the beginning of time and the opposite corner of the cube is the end of time. But God is outside the cube, always present to all of time.

Now, we are called to share in God's own divine nature, God's eternity! That will be life in its fullness where nothing will pass away, where all joys will be present without diminishment. But for those who choose to be lost, who will not share in divine life, eternity will be like time without end, enduring pain forever and ever. St. Benedict urges us think about these things when he tells us in the Instruments of Good Works, “To be in dread of hell, and to desire eternal life with all the passion of the spirit. And never to despair of God's mercy.”1 “Even if a mother should forget, God will never forget you” (Is. 49:15).

Time is like a cube

God is present to all of time