Here is my homily from this morning’s early Mass. God bless each of you!
Today’s Gospel from John is a stunning account of Jesus’ encounter with the Jews. It is an account of contrasts, i.e., Jesus and the Jews, Jesus and Abraham, and Jesus and his Father. There is so much packed into this Gospel account that several homilies could come from it alone.
I would like us to take one thing home with us today from this Gospel, and it is this: We are never alone! No matter how dark the day, how lost we may be, how lonely we may feel, we are never alone, for God is always present. The divine presence never leaves us and never will. Yes, this is what we can take from the Gospel this morning. God is with us! Jesus is I AM, and not only does that mean he is God, but it also means he is present.
Abraham is known as our father in faith. Indeed, Abraham had real faith, and as Jesus tells us this morning, because of Abraham’s faith he saw the day of Jesus even during his life. Faith allowed Abraham to see God’s presence, not only at that moment in his life, but also in the ages to come. We, my friends, need our faith to recognize the presence of God in our lives too. God is here, but only our faith will enlighten us to recognize his presence, especially in the darkest times we experience. We are never alone!
Isn’t it interesting in the Gospel how the Jews claimed they were Abraham’s children, but they did not have Abraham’s faith. The Jews of the time did not recognize the presence of God in the person of Jesus. Even when Jesus explained to them who he was, in very certain terms – I AM. The Father glorifies me. The Father and I are one. – they did not recognize him. They were in the dark and overcome by that darkness and that is why Jesus called them liars. Only in faith do we see God in the midst of our lives. Only in faith, which God gifts us, which God enriches in us, which God offers us in so many ways.
My friends, let us this day go forth to witness to each other the faith which is ours, the faith which enlightens us to the presence of God, a presence which will never leaves us, which God will not retract. God has revealed himself and has given us the faith needed to recognized him. Let us not blind ourselves by our unbelief.