Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent
(Isaiah 49:8-15; John 5:17-30)
The title, “& Son,” in a business listing reassures clients. The owner obviously has a family which roots him in the community and suggests trustworthiness. If the son comes to do the job, the client perhaps thinks “like father, like son” and expects the true value for what she pays. An analogous father-son relationship forms the heart of today’s gospel.
The Jews become upset that Jesus keeps calling God his father. They correctly see -- although they do not believe -- that if God is his father, then he has all God’s characteristics. In other words, Jesus is God. He too is able to bring people out of captivity as the reading from Isaiah proclaims of God. Jesus will perform a greater wonder. Empowered by the Father, he will call the dead to life. But he will not do this arbitrarily. He will call only those who already have known his voice to eternal life. Others may be called, but to condemnation.
The Easter promise will always astound us. We cannot help but ask, how can the dead be raised to life? But certainly all adults have seen in their lifetimes things that they never before had dreamed. God, who also is beyond our imagining, has infinite power. When we try to imitate not His power but His goodness, we attend to Jesus’ voice and can hope to be called from death to life.