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Like father, like son
At an early age, a son tends to imitate his father. If his father is a teacher, he wants to have a book and a board to teach his own class. If his father is a doctor, he wants to have his own stethoscope to take care of everyone. If his father works at a convenience store, he wants to have his own shop at home. In today’s Gospel, Jesus talked about his relationship with the Father. In his discourse, we can see three moments of revelation. Each of them was introduced by the “Amen, amen, I say to you” (v. 19.24.25). Jesus’ teaching can be summed up in a sentence: the Father gives the Son the power to bestow eternal life to those who listen to him.
For Jesus, his Father showed him everything that he did because he loved him. All Jesus’ actions flowed from the Father. The Father went on working but something new happened with the event of the Incarnation. The Son entered human history and continued the Father’s work on earth. The best, however, was to come. A greater work would be realized when the Father raised his Son from death. And this marvelous work was to share with those whom Jesus raised from death. Because of his relationship with the Father, the Son gave life just as the Father did.
For Jesus, the Father and the Son are intimately united to one another. Such a unity is so powerful that listening to the Son and believing in the Father is one. It was therefore not possible to reject one without denying the other. It was also not possible to honor one without honoring the other. For those who were willing to share in the communion between the Father and the Son, life was immediately given to them. Moreover, there was no condemnation for them.
With the coming of his Son into the world, the Father ceased to judge. He handed all judging activity over to his Son. That is why, for Jesus judgment consisted in receiving him or refusing him. This judgment took place when Jesus was teaching. In order to escape judgment, an action was required: listen to Jesus’ voice. To listen to Jesus was to live. Jesus Christ gave access to eternal life because he was both “Son of God” (v. 25) and “Son of Man” (v. 27). As Son of Man, he judged sinners. As Son of God, he bestowed on them divine life. Whoever listens to him, even after his physical departure, obtains life eternal.
Jesus came into our world to present us the Father and his divine life. He used earthly language to talk about heavenly reality. He took on our human experience with its ups and downs to transform it by his divine power. Jesus was at home with human language. He did not stay outside our experience. As his disciples, we are to announce the Good News with a language accessible to everyone. We are also to take into account the lived experience of those to whom we spread the Gospel. Like master, like disciples!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, make us participate in your divine life through the imitation of your Son.
Resolution: Deepen the relationship with my parents or with others who play that role.