Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent
Reading 1 Gn 17:3-9
Gospel Jn 8:51-59
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad." So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM."
Back in the Trinidad of my youth we had a 'character' who roamed the streets of the city nicknamed 'Red Hawk'. Now at a carnival celebration one year we were all trying to get close to the stage exit so we could see the performance for free. The problem was that it was a no-no according to the organizers and the law enforcement who maintained a perimeter with a police horseman.
Well Red Hawk approached the area where we wanted to be and looked at the police officer on his horse then drew a line in the sand daring the officer to cross it and come and remove him. The smart 'constable' turned his horse around and left and we all ran forward and stood with Red Hawk for the rest of the show.
Funny how the mind works; pulling a distant and obscure memory from my youth as I reflect on Jesus and the Gospel today. In the first reading God says to Abraham (formerly Abram): "I will maintain my covenant with you and your descendants after you throughout the ages as an everlasting pact, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land in which you are now staying, the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession; and I will be their God." God also said to Abraham: "On your part, you and your descendants after you must keep my covenant throughout the ages."
The Jewish leaders wanted to remind Jesus of their proud lineage all the way back to Abraham. Jesus reminded them of his:
"Before Abraham came to be, I AM".
That is his line in the sand. Stand with him or against him but you're going to have to take a stand.
As a youth I stood with Red Hawk but now I ask would you stand beside me with Jesus?
The Season of Lent is a special time for us to slow down, look inward and make the necessary changes to truly become an Easter people.