Our Journey to the Cross: March 4, 2018

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr.


Prayer of Presence: 
Here I am as fully in your presence as I am able to be,
Offering my fears, my needs, my hopes, my love, and my life.
For I am yours and belong to no other.
("40 Days of with Wesley," by Rueben P. Job, p. 29)

Scripture: Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John 2:18-22
The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Images like the one at the top appear at first to be flat, or two-dimensional. Actually, the above picture is a 3-D stereographic image of a heart. A stereographic image is the combination of two separate images that present a slightly different view to each eye. By crossing the eyes and staring at the picture, the two images combine in the brain to give the perception of depth, hence a 3-D image.

The disciples at first saw Jesus in a two dimensional way, that is, as merely human. Their understanding of the truth of who Jesus was and what he promised grew over time. The full apprehension of Jesus identity came into focus when the disciples “re-membered” what Jesus said and did after the resurrection.

At first the teachings of Jesus such as “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up,” made little to no sense. “After Jesus was raised from the dead,” John says, “his disciples “re-membered” what he said and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.”

As we piece together, or “re-member” the scriptures, the words, and the acts of Jesus, we begin to see the revelation of a 3-D picture of Jesus. We recognize and understand Jesus as God in the flesh (Jn. 1:1), as the bread of life (Jn. 6:35), the light of the world (Jn. 8:12), and as the door to eternal life (Jn. 10:9). We recognize and understand Jesus as the Good Shepherd (Jn. 10:11), the resurrection and the life (Jn. 11:25-26), as the way, the truth and the life (Jn. 14:6), and, as the true vine (15:1).

John writes, “But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Son, and that believing, you will have life in his name.” (Jn. 20:31) My prayer is that your faith and understanding of the identity and love of Jesus Christ for you and the whole world will become more evident and trustworthy as you increasing enter into the fullness of the abundant life he promised (Jn. 10:10).

Questions for Reflection: 

  • Which is your favorite Jesus statement?
  • Which is your favorite Jesus story? 
  • How does the statement or story of Jesus shape the way you live?

Prayer Focus: For the grace to believe the scriptures and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Concluding Prayer: 
O God, our bread, our milk, and our honey;
in the resurrection of your Son, you have brought us to your table.
Feed us with your plenty, and enlarge our table for all the hungry,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Alleluia.
(John 6:35, 1 Peter 2:2; Ezequiel 3:3)

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