Our Gospel today is from the Gospel according to Mark. The two halves of his sixteen chapters split right down the middle. The first eight chapters described how the Apostles slowly came to realize that Jesus is the Savior. The second eight chapters will show how he will save us by his suffering and death.
The question of how the Apostles slowly came to realize that Jesus was more than human, ties in with something I have been studying this week. I have been attending closely to the First Chapter of the Gospel according to John. Older Catholics will remember how up to forty years ago we read that chapter at the end of Mass.
I have taken eight phrases from that passage. With them we see how John, that beloved disciple, saw Jesus as the Son of God. Go through those eight phrases with me.
One: “In the beginning was the word” The ”Word” for the Greeks was no more than our Mother Nature. It wasn’t really God.
Two: “The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Here, John not only professes belief in God in heaven, he even hints at a Trinity.
Three: “All things came to be through him, and nothing was made without him.” We wonder how all things are made in God’s image. The answer to that might be that he made all of nature to work together orderly. Like, there is a divine order regulating the billions of cells in your body.
Four: “In him was life, and that life is the light of the world.” Just as all the energy expended throughout the solar system makes use only of energy coming from the sun, so the mental energy in our conscious moments all come from God.
Five: “To all who do accept him he gives the power to become his children.” God is not far from us. He is our father, and we can snuggle against him.
Six: “The Word became flesh.” Jesus shared our bodily functions. “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way that we are.”
Seven: “He set up his tent with ours.” St. John patterned his Gospel on the Book of Exodus. Just as Moses led the Israelites to the Promised Land, Jesus leads us to heaven. Moses set up a meeting tent for them to meet with God. The body of Jesus is his tent where we can meet with him.
Eight: “While the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus.”