Who do you claim to be? Do you call yourself a great person, because of knowledge or job status? We tend to define ourselves in different ways, depending on what we value most in our lives and what we're invested in. Lately for me, it's being a wife, a family member, a friend, a person of faith, a youth minister and a teacher. It's not always easy to answer the question of 'who are you' because there are many things that define me, especially when you dig deeper. God calls us to be defined by the people we are, through our love, and the way that we inspire those around us to live a life of faith. If someone were to ask you the question, who are you, how would you respond right now? Are there areas that you can improve in your life, so to better answer this question?
Today's Gospel states:'Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death." The Jews said to him, "Now we know that you have a demon. Abraham died, as did the prophets; and you say, `If any one keeps my word, he will never taste death.' Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you claim to be?" Jesus answered, "If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing; it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say that he is your God. But you have not known him; I know him. If I said, I do not know him, I should be a liar like you; but I do know him and I keep his word. Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad." The Jews then said to him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?" Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." So they took up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple' (John 8:51-59).
Today's reading talks about how if we keep to the Word of God, and trust in it, we will not die, but find eternal life. The people ask him if he is greater than Abraham, as he died but Jesus tells us that we can live eternal life through him. Obviously they didn't quite get what he was saying at the time, as they pictured immortality as their idea of eternal life, something only a god could give (yes, note the lower case 'g'). This isn't what Jesus was claiming, actually the opposite. He's telling us that we need to believe in him, in God's will for us and be defined as people of faith in this life, so that we can be reunited with him after death, finding eternal life in a different sense. How do you live your life now? Do people define you as a loving, kind, faithful individual through the actions you make? Take some time to pray and ask God to help you work on beinta faithful person who can be defined as showing Your love to the world.
Today we pray:
Thank You for making me special, in Your very image and likeness. Help me to work harder at answering the question of who I am, taking steps to be seen as someone who shares Your love through my actions.
I pray in Your most holy name, Amen.