March 27, 2012

HOMILY for Tue in Week 5 of Lent

Numbers 21:4-9; Ps 101; John 8:21-30

When Moses first encountered the living God in the burning bush, he asked God: ‘If the people of Israel should ask what is the name of the God of their fathers, what shall I say?’ And God said to Moses: “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you” (cf Ex 3:13f). So, God makes himself known to his people as “I AM”, which in Greek is ‘Ego eimi’. 

So, in today’s Gospel, when the people of Israel again ask, ‘Who are you?’, the Lord replies, not through Moses, but for himself: “Ego eimi”, or, in our translation, “I AM He”. Jesus says: “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I AM He…” But Jesus is not just making an assertion that he is God. He is revealing who he is, just as he once revealed himself to Moses, and this revelation will be seen and recognized as such when he is lifted up on the Cross. Why?

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