At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand.The Father and I are one.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Jesus goes about his ministry: healing the sick, setting the captives free, bringing the good news to the poor, and being the physical manifestation of God’s love on earth.
Yet, the people gather around Him and ask: “How long will you keep us in suspense? … Tell us plainly.” You can almost imagine Jesus throwing his arms up in exasperation. He has told them, and he has shown them, but they’ve missed it somehow.
The people have been waiting for the SparkNotes, 140-character, simple answer—which is not what Jesus offers. Instead, he invites them “to know” him, “to hear” his voice, and “to follow” him. Jesus doesn’t keep them in suspense but invites them into something more radical: relationship.
That relationship heals us and completes us. It reveals Jesus as both Christ and friend, if we but look into the depths of that love.
Jesus, you’ve invited me into something deeper.
Into deep encounters.
Into the complexities of relationship.
Into the depths of your love, for me.
Give me the courage to seek the deeper answers,
The ones found only in relationship with You.
—Colten Biro, SJ
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