Jesus makes the statement which would have him condemned to die. "I am God’s Son." Are we not reminded constantly that we are God’s image? Well, here it is, Jesus is pointing out to the Jewish leaders, "Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods?’" "The Father is in me and I am in the Father."
This is a meditation in itself, I am the image of God today, in public. The scandal? The blasphemy? How can the Almighty "fit" in our weak, limited flesh? Is that in itself a "faith question" for me? Do I accept the Loving Presence of God within me? Do I act in the confidence that God is in me, through Jesus’ name? Am I willing to be treated as He is?
But is there something even more significant to what is going on here in the discussion with these leaders? In public, Jesus had just healed a young man born blind on the legally, sacred Sabbath. And then, in public, he describes himself as the Good Shepherd, who lays down His life for his flock. Is that too much to hear and to bear? The willingness to sacrifice all for the other’s sake? The willingness to put others’ welfare before my own?
In taking up my responsibility, daily, to image God publicly, the words of Jeremiah are right on!
Fr. Alex Steinmiller, C.P. is president of Holy Family Cristo Rey High School, Birmingham, Alabama.