I AM

Friends in Christ,
a week from Saturday, we will celebrate the greatest Liturgy of the year, the Easter Vigil. The new fire will be blessed, just outside the church at dusk. And from the new fire, will be lit the Easter Candle. This Easter candle represents the Light of the World: Jesus, and as it is carried into the dark church, we will chant: ‘Lumen Christi!’ – Christ our light.
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This light, shining in the darkness, represents Jesus. He is risen, he has conquered the darkness of death. As father lights that Easter candle from the new fire, he says: ‘Christ yesterday and today, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. All time belongs to him and all the ages.’
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Jesus Christ, in himself, is the meeting of time and eternity; the joining of heaven and earth, of God and Man. ‘Christ yesterday and today, the beginning and the End.’ As Our Lord walked the earth, he kept a certain shroud of mystery about his origin – for most of his life. But as his Passion nears, he begins to reveal more.
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In today’s Gospel he drops the bomb – the unvarnished truth. They said to him, ‘You claim to have seen Abraham, yet you are not even 50 years old!’ And he said: ‘Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.’ This is the bombshell.
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Abraham at that time was long dead, and so he was in the ‘Limbo of the fathers,’ waiting with the others, for the gates of heaven to be opened. How could Jesus have seen him? He could have seen him if he sees the other world, if he’s been there, if he is – God. And this is what Christ proclaims, he uses the Divine Name: ‘Before Abraham came to be, I AM.’ Literally, before Abraham was made, I already existed.
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According to St. Augustine, Jesus said ‘before Abraham came to be,’ because Abraham was a creature – a man – created. He used the Divine Name: he said, ‘I AM,’ because the Son of God exists ‘Yesterday and today, he is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega. All time belongs to him.’
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Jesus reveals that in himself, God has visited his people, and he has come to save us. To him be glory and power forever and ever.

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