Remember the old cliché, “Talk’s cheap”? Perhaps
you quoted it to someone you knew. It’s been quoted to me more than
once. It seems in today’s Gospel it is the approach that the Pharisees
are using in trying to discredit Jesus who has told them that he is the Son
Since they know his origin and his occupation, as the carpenter at Nazareth,
there is no way that he can be anything more than one of them.
As for claiming to be God’s son, they accuse him of blasphemy and decide that
he should be stoned to death. Jesus counters by letting them
know that if they don’t believe what he says, then they ought to look at
his works for proof of who he is. His opponents were well aware of
the miraculous healings of the deaf, the blind and the lame, along with his
teachings, his forgiving of sins, his advice to the disconsolate, and the
myriad of other services he did for people. But they object, that it’s
not for the works that they want to stone him, it’s rather for the fact that
he continues to claim to be the Son of God.
So they are unmoved by his line of proof. In his defense Jesus next
points out to them their failure in understanding Scripture. For there
it is written: “I said, you are Gods.” Since Scripture says they themselves
are Gods, and Scripture cannot be wrong, it’s foolish for them to stone him
for blasphemy when he refers to himself as a Son of God. Obviously we
are all God’s sons or daughters. Of course, if they still want to stone
him for blasphemy, it must be because they are unwilling to accept what he
maintains, he is God’s equal.
It also would follow that those who do the works of God must somehow share
in the divine nature at least by adoption. Apropos of this Saint Iraneaus
prays to God; “You have come down that we might rise up. You have become
human that we might become divine.” And the way we rise up and share
in divinity is by imitating the way Jesus lived and served others. Which
brings us to a faith message for today. We may not be empowered to
work the miracles like Jesus performed, but following his example in caring
for and serving others it leaves us thousands of ways to share in his divine
life, so that we too will be known to be God’s sons and daughters.