Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
(Acts 12:24a-13:5a; John 12:44-50)
When we hear of sacraments, we think of the seven signs instituted by Christ to give grace. But there is more to the concept. The Church is a sacrament. It is the visible presence of Christ in the world today. Over fifty years ago, Dutch Dominican Edward Schillebeeckx published a ground-breaking book entitled Christ, the Sacrament of the Encounter with God. The work shows with theological finesse Jesus’ claim in the gospel today: when we see him, we see the Father.
Today’s passage serves as a summary of the first half of John’s gospel which shows Jesus being revealed to the world as God’s only-begotten Son. It reiterates how he has not come into the world to judge it but to save it. That saving work is related in the gospel’s second half which begins with the next scene of Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples.
We want to hold on to Jesus by heeding his words. They will guide us through the difficulties we presently face. Indeed, they provide comfort as they promise us a share in the glory of the resurrection.