St. John's wonderful Gospel has some slow passages.

Wednesday, 4/30/14

Today’s Gospel prompts us to note that some parts of John’s Gospel mean more to us than other parts.

The priceless parts are those that record either the great dialogues or Our Lord's, or his public actions and pronouncements.

The less valuable parts, at least for this old priest, are the long passages musing over Our Lord’s identity, and those recording tedious disputes with Our Lord's detractors. 

The great dialogues are the conversations Jesus had with Nicodemus, with the Samaritan Woman, with the Man born blind, with Peter, John, Martha and Mary. The wonderful pronouncements were those of Jesus declaring himself to be the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, the source of Living Water.

Today's Gospel gives us one of those less valuable passages dealing with Our Lord's identity. It follows on the glorious dialogue between Jesus and Nicodemus, and it seems to be the meditation of some holy soul. He muses over the way that after the Father sent his Son into the world as its light, the world rejected that Son, preferring  darkness.

Chapters Seven and Eight of John’s Gospel also have long passages that strike us as being of less value. After giving us the great story of  Jesus forgiving the woman caught in adultery, and  giving us his pronouncement that he is the light of the world and the source of living water; those chapters become weighted down with long accounts of officials disputing with Jesus.

I am saying this to dissuade you from letting those slow passages keep you from burying yourself in John’s Gospel. When I was teaching the Eighth Grade in a Catholic School, the excitement over their imminent graduation did not keep the kids from getting lost in the beauties of John’s Gospel.

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