- Thursday, 22 March 2018 -
Thursday of the Fifth week of Lent
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 8:51-59.

Jesus said to the Jews: "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death."
(So) the Jews said to him, "Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, 'Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.'
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?"
Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, 'He is our God.'
You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.
So the Jews said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?"
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; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint Cyril of Jerusalem
"Are you greater than our father Abraham?"

One might say a great deal about faith. It is enough to cast a glance at Abraham, one of the models given us by the Old Testament, since we are his children by faith. This man was not justified by his works alone but also by faith. He had done many good deeds but was only called a friend of God when he had given proof of his faith. All his works drew their perfection from his faith. It was by faith that he left his family; it was by faith that he left his homeland, his country and his house. Just as he became righteous, become righteous yourselves! Later his body became incapable of fatherhood since he had become extremely old. Sara, to whom he had been united, was also old and so they had no hope at all of a posterity. God, however, announced to this old man that he would become a father and Abraham’s faith did not flinch. Considering that his body was already very close to death, he did not take his physical weakness into account, nonetheless, but the might of the One who made the promise since he reckoned He who had made this promise to be worthy of faith. Thus it was tha, from two bodies already marked, so to speak, by death, a child was marvellously born... It is Abraham's example of faith that makes children of Abraham out of us all. How? People find resurrection from the dead just as unbelievable as that an old men already marked by death should father their posterity. But when someone proclaims the good news of Christ to us, crucified on the tree, dead and brought back to life again, then we believe it. Thus it is that by imitating his faith we enter into Abraham's descendance. And so, like him, we receive with faith the spiritual seal and are circumcised as he was by baptism in the Holy Spirit.

Baptismal catecheses, no.5