We’ve been hearing at Mass this week (from John’s Gospel) Jesus’ efforts to convey some understanding to the Jews and the Pharisees of who He is as he makes his way toward Jerusalem and His death. Nothing he says seems to be understood clearly by them and in today’s Gospel they get so angered at his statements that they pick up stones to throw at Him. As I sat reflecting on today’s Gospel in light of a fine sermon I heard at Mass yesterday afternoon, I wondered if there was any way they could have understand.
In talking about the message conveyed by the Crucifixion, the priest yesterday shared a statement made by Freud that “we understand the make-up of things best when we see them lying in pieces, shattered. In the brokenness we see the underlying structure.” He observed that it is in the broken body of Christ on the cross that we see most clearly the love that is God. The message conveyed by the shattered and broken body is – do all of this to me and I still love you. I AM love. And that can never change.
Could we have gotten that message without the Jesus suffering and dying? Could we have possibly understood the truth that Jesus promises will set us free? I’m not sure.