Thursday in the Fifth Week of Lent

Genesis 17:3-9
Psalm 104(105):4-9
John 8:51-59

The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Using the responsorial psalm verse as a repeated prayer or mantra can often be a very helpful way into the Liturgy of the Word. It’s especially helpful today as the theme of covenant links our readings. God’s faithfulness to us and our faithfulness to God is the foundational to the story of our salvation. We can trace a path through the Scriptures of God’s desire to reach out in love to the whole of humanity.

In the first reading from Genesis God pledges his faithfulness to Abraham:

I will establish my Covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, a Covenant in perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

Time and time again God will remind the people of Israel of this bond.

In the Gospel today Jesus confounds his hearers by declaring ‘before Abraham came to be, I AM.’ The Pharisees hear this literally. What Jesus is saying is that every covenantal promise made to Abraham and every generation thereafter comes to fulfilment in Him. This is blasphemy to their ears. It’s easy to scapegoat the Pharisees and pat ourselves on the back because we can grasp what Jesus is saying. The invitation to the Pharisees and to us today is one and the same: live lives of faithfulness and love that the world may believe.

In the remaining days of Lent how can you live in faithfulness?