Eternal Hope

Jesus said to the crowds:
“Everything that the Father gives me will come to me,
and I will not reject anyone who comes to me,
because I came down from heaven not to do my own will
but the will of the one who sent me.
And this is the will of the one who sent me,
that I should not lose anything of what he gave me,
but that I should raise it on the last day.
For this is the will of my Father,
that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him
may have eternal life,
and I shall raise him on the last day.”
(John 6:37-40)   

Scripture Study

37. The fault is theirs not his, but Jesus explains the situation in terms of what we now call efficacious grace. They come who are given to him by the Father and Jesus cannot but welcome all that the Father gives. The use of a global neuter certainly insinuates that the faithful come to Christ in the social unity of a body.

38. It is towards this body that Jesus must carry out the salvific will of his father, which is the program of his life.

39. That program or will of his Father is described as Jesus’ task, namely, to lose nothing of the ‘entrusted all’, but to save completely even to the resurrection on the last day.

40. Human liberty, which has not been expressly envisaged in this ‘giving’ by the Father, is clearly indicated when the salvific will is declared to be this: ‘That everyone (individually) who sees the Son and believes in him may have life everlasting and I will raise him up in the last day’. Belief is a free act. Jesus’ work is to save and resurrect; faith leads to eternal life and final resurrection. On our part we have to believe individually in the Son, in order to have the life everlasting and glorious resurrection which the Father wills for us.[1]

Reflection

“. . . everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life. . .”

How do we come to eternal life? We see the Son and believe. My sense is that this is less an intellectual matter (though it could be, in part) and more one of cultivating a relationship. In John 6, it almost seems like a courtship. People pursue the Lord, and there’s a certain coy quality to these questions and answers, like two lovers-to-be figuring out what’s going on. The Lord comes right out and says it, eventually: Look for food that lasts. Nobody who comes will be rejected. Look for a relationship of faith, and eternal life will be yours.

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

 

 

[1] W. Leonard, “The Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St John,” in A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture, ed. Bernard Orchard and Edmund F. Sutcliffe (Toronto;New York;Edinburgh: Thomas Nelson, 1953), 993.