Thursday of the Seventh Week of Easter
(Acts 22:30.23:6-11; John 17:20-26)
Although St. Thomas Aquinas found metaphysical meaning in God’s name, John the Evangelist sees it in a different way. Aquinas taught that the name “I am who am,” which God revealed to Moses, indicates that God’s existence is His very essence such that everything that exists is rooted in Him. Aquinas pointed out that this assertion does not reveal anything of God’s nature. For that, he realized, divine revelation is needed. John’s gospel supplies abundant description of who God is. He is (or, as Jesus says, “I am”) “the light of the world,” “the Good Shepherd,” “the bread of life.” Since Jesus reveals the Father, these images apply to the Father just as much as they to him.
In today’s gospel Jesus prays to his Father that he has made the Father’s name known to his disciples. They know that the “I am” is not a distant God but as close to the world as the light that fills it. They realize that the “I am” does not disregard any of His human subjects but treats each one with the care of the most responsive of shepherds. They recognize that the nourishment of the “I am” is not truncated as the earthly sojourn ends, but that the bread He provides nourishes for eternity.
As the Easter season ends, we stand in awe of God’s blessing in Jesus Christ. He has called us back from sinful ways, demonstrated the infinity of His love with Jesus’ death and resurrection, and now will grace us with the Holy Spirit so that we mig