Lenten Daily Gospel Reflection - Holy Wednesday - 27 March 2013
“Now I am deeply troubled. What should I say? ‘Father, save me from this time’? No, for this is the reason I have come to this time. Father, glorify your name!”
Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard and said, “It’s thunder.” Others said, “An angel spoke to him.”
Jesus replied, “This voice wasn’t for my benefit but for yours. Now is the time for judgment of this world. Now this world’s ruler will be thrown out. When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” (He said this to show how he was going to die.)
The crowd responded, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Human One must be lifted up? Who is this Human One?”
Jesus replied, “The light is with you for only a little while. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness don’t know where they are going. As long as you have the light, believe in the light so that you might become people whose lives are determined by the light.” After Jesus said these things, he went away and hid from them.
“When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” Let’s let that sink in for a moment. The only qualifier for the drawing of “everyone” is Christ being “lifted up from the earth.” That’s it. Period. The enthronement of Jesus is the game changer for everyone.
“Well, for those that believe.”
That’s not what he said. In fact, the Greek word is “pas” and means, “all, every.” There’s not a qualifier for that either. We’ve changed it to refer to people. The old King James Version has it this way, “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” The word “men” in italics means that the word “men” was not in the Greek but was added by the translators to try and make the verse clearer.
Today, we extend that even further. The reason, we deduce, is that Jesus wasn’t just referring to the males of the human race, but to females as well. And rightly so.
But what happens when we remove the qualifier altogether? That really changes things, doesn’t it. Jesus said that he would “draw all to me.” All what?
The entire cosmos.
And that’s just what we read in other parts of the New Testament. St. Paul wrote, “This is what [G_d] planned for the climax of all times: to bring all things together in Christ, the things in heaven along with the things on earth.”
And in another place he wrote, “[G_d] reconciled all things to [G_dself] through [Jesus] - whether things on earth or in the heavens. [G_d] brought peace through the blood of [the] cross [of Christ].”
Again, the word “things” was added to help us understand the text. But I submit that it actually reduces the impact of the text and G_d’s plan.
The plan is to reconcile all. That’s the plan. That’s why Jesus can’t turn back or ask G_d to rescue him from the cross. The entire cosmos is waiting for salvation. Jesus knows that. Therefore, with grim determination, and, if we’re honest, some (!) reservation about what’s coming. Yet he knows the importance of it. He knows what it means for Israel. For the Gentiles. For everyone. For all creation. G_d will use his death, somehow, to rescue all.
In the Love of the Three in One,
Br. Jack+, LC