Sunday, November 01, 2009

Gospel for Nov 2, Commemoration: All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

From: John 6:37-40

The Discourse on the Bread of Life (Continuation)

[37] All that the Father gives Me will come to Me; and him who comes to Me I will not cast out. [38] For I have come down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me; [39] and this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given Me, but raise it up on the last day. [40] For this is the will of My Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

37-40. Jesus clearly reveals that He is the one sent by the Father. This is something St. John the Baptist proclaimed earlier on (Jn 3:33-36), and Jesus Himself stated it in His dialogue with Nicodemus (Jn 3:17-21) and announced publicly to the Jews in Jerusalem (Jn 5:20-30). Since Jesus is the one sent by the Father, the bread of life come down from Heaven to give life to the world, everyone who believes in Him has eternal life, for it is God's will that everyone should be saved through Jesus Christ. These words of Jesus contain three mysteries: 1) that of faith in Jesus Christ, which means "going to Jesus", accepting His miracles (signs) and His words; 2) the mystery of the resurrection of believers, something which begins in this life through faith and becomes fully true in Heaven; 3) the mystery of predestination, the will of our Father in Heaven that all men be saved. These solemn words of our Lord fill the believer with hope.

St. Augustine, commenting on vv. 37 and 38, praises the humility of Jesus, the perfect model for the humility of the Christian: Jesus chose not to do His own will but that of the Father who sent Him: "Humbly am I come, to teach humility am I come, as the master of humility am I come; he who comes to Me is incorporated in Me; he who comes to Me, becomes humble; he who cleaves to Me will be humble, for he does not his will but God's" ("In Ioann. Evang.", 25, 15 and 16).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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