When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 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.


Saint Athanasius (295-373), Bishop of Alexandria, Doctor of the Church
On the incarnation of the Word, 21-22

“When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I AM”

Why, then, one might say, if it were necessary for Christ to yield up his body to death on behalf of all, did he not lay it aside simply in a human way instead of going so far as to be crucified? For one might say that it was more fitting for him to have laid his body aside honorably, than ignominiously to endure such a death as that. Such an objection is itself too human, whereas what the Savior did is truly divine and worthy of his Godhead for many reasons.

Firstly, because the death which befalls us all comes as a result of the weakness of our nature; for, unable to continue for long, we are dissolved with time. Hence, too, diseases befall us, and we fall sick and die. But the Lord is not weak but is the power and Word of God and life itself. If, then, he had laid aside his body somewhere in private and upon a bed, after the manner of mortal flesh, it would have been thought… there was nothing in him more than in other men… It was not fitting, either, that the Lord,who healed the diseases of others, should himself fall sick…

Why, then, did he not cast out death, as he did sickness? Because it was precisely for this that he possessed a body, and it was unfitting to prevent it lest the resurrection should also be hindered… But it would be better, someone might say, to have foiled the designs of his enemies so that his body might be protected from death altogether. Now let such a one be aware that this too was unbefitting to the Lord. For as it was not fitting for the Word of God, being Life, to inflict death on his own body, so neither was it suitable for him to fly from the death inflicted by others… this did not show weakness on the Word’s part, but, on the contrary, showed Him to be both Savior and Life… the Savior came to bring to completion, not his own death, but the death of all humanity


About padredanivha

A Catholic priest
This entry was posted in Catechesis. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s