Today’s reflection was written by Associate and former Xaverian Brothers volunteer to Haiti, Chris Roberson.
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him.
The mounting tension was palpable as Jesus explained his relationship with the Father; culminating with Jesus’ proclamation “I AM.” The Jews didn’t get it; they rejected him.To them it was blasphemous boasting, punishable by death in accordance with the law of Moses. But not just any form of death – death by stoning. A gruesome form of capital punishment whereby no one individual among the group can be identified as the individual responsible for the ensuing murder.
As foreign as this scene may seem, do we not find ourselves in middle of it today? Is our society not increasingly rejecting the word of God, stone in hand, through our actions and inactions? Too often we stand by in the crowd; maybe we even have our own stones, and we rationalize to ourselves that it is not our actions (or inactions) that reject Jesus.
The Xaverian Way calls us to contemplate how our own witness can “manifest God’s care and compassionate love to those who are separated and estranged.” Our witness, we are taught, should be grounded in a form of humility, for it is humility, Ryken said, that “can do what dignity and science are unable to perform: it can move God to move souls.” Let us not take for granted or overlook the power of our ordinariness, for it may be the witnessing of our ordinariness that encourages those in the margins to put down their stones.
Spend some quiet time with the Lord. Examine how your witness is a (or could be a better) manifestation of God’s love to those you encounter today.
Awesome and powerful God, we ask for the courage to live the radical life of communion on the margins. Make us a home in the desert, so that we may manifest Your care and compassionate love to those who are marginalized among us. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Your Son and our brother. Amen.