Tuesday, March 15, 2016

All great things are simple and many can be expressed in one word.

Today’s Gospel: (JN 8:21-30)
Jesus said to the Pharisees:
“I am going away and you will look for me,
but you will die in your sin.
Where I am going you cannot come.”
So the Jews said,
“He is not going to kill himself, is he,
because he said, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’?”
He said to them, “You belong to what is below,
I belong to what is above.
You belong to this world,
but I do not belong to this world.
That is why I told you that you will die in your sins.
For if you do not believe that I AM,
you will die in your sins.”
So they said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “What I told you from the beginning.
I have much to say about you in condemnation.
But the one who sent me is true,
and what I heard from him I tell the world.”
They did not realize that he was speaking to them of the Father.
So Jesus said to them,
“When you lift up the Son of Man,
then you will realize that I AM,
and that I do nothing on my own,
but I say only what the Father taught me.
The one who sent me is with me.
He has not left me alone,
because I always do what is pleasing to him.”
Because he spoke this way, many came to believe in him.

As I read through John’s Gospel for today, I could not help but think of the saying, “less is more.” Not because of the number of words that John uses, but because of a phrase Jesus uses. As Jesus explains to the Pharisees who he is, among a bit of context, he simply says, “I AM.” Jesus could have inserted any number of grandiose words to follow, but he doesn’t. That was all that was needed.

To me, there is comfort in the simplicity of, “I AM.” Maybe because the lack of words ironically means that Jesus is “everything”, “all there is”, and “the whole.” Maybe the greatest things do not come from grandiosity. Less really is more.

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