“Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”

Moving on in chapter seven (Jn 7:40-53), we find that guards of the chief priests and the Pharisees sent to arrest Jesus (we hear about this order in the skipped section of this chapter containing v. 32) come back having not taken Him into custody and saying the words above to their leaders.  The Pharisees berate the guards and the people for being “deceived” by Jesus  (v. 47), and even chide one of their own, Nicodemus, for asking them to not condemn Jesus before hearing him out.  A common theme running through this passage among the people and the religious leaders is that no prophet can come from Galilee.  That being said, we must return to the headline of this post.  Would it not have been wonderful to hear Jesus in person some 2000 years ago?  But we know the power of Jesus the Word through the words of scripture and the grace of sacrament.  In the liturgy, we get Jesus in the Old Testament and in the New Testament.. Throughout Mass we get even more direct scripture and allusions to scripture.  Then, of course, we hear the words of Jesus through His priest: ‘This is my body, this is my blood” and then Jesus is Really Present in a manner par excellence of which we then have the ability to partake.  We also hear Jesus’ words through His minister in Baptism, Confession, and Anointing, when He wipes away our sins.  In Confirmation we are strengthened in the Holy Spirit by a successor of the apostles.  Again, in Holy Orders, we again find the bishop, this time conferring the power to celebrate the sacraments to men.  And finally, it is Jesus behind the words exchanged in Holy Matrimony and it is in His sight that couples ask Him to seal that bond.  So we hear the voice of Jesus as clearly today as if we were at His feet during His public ministry.  His Church, which flowed out of His pierced side and which gives us word and sacrament, was His gift to us as he promised to be with us always even until the end of time (cf. Mt 28:20).  Listen to Him! (cf. Lk 9:35)

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