Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

Priests Forever – Br. Mark Brown

Mark-Brown-SSJE-2010-300x299“I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”  The last words at the Last Supper.

John’s Gospel likes to be obscure at times.  What was the name Jesus made known to the disciples?  The pronunciation of the Hebrew name for God was supposedly only known by the High Priest; he only pronounced it, whispering, once a year on the Day of Atonement inside the Holy of Holies.  Is this the name Jesus made known to the disciples? How did he find out the divine name? Does that mean he was conferring a kind of priesthood upon the disciples?  Who knows?

It’s also possible that he himself is “the name”—a kind of human, three-dimensional name of God. In the very next scene, in the Garden of Gethsemane, when the soldiers say they are looking for Jesus, Jesus says “I am he”. Or, ego eimi.  Ego eimi, I am, is the Greek version of the name God gives to Moses at the burning bush. Tell Pharoah I am sent you.  When Jesus says “I am”, the soldiers fall down from the impact.

Jesus made himself known to the disciples—is that what he meant by making God’s name known to them?  If so, they and we are a kind of priesthood, intermediaries between God and God’s people.

“I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”   So that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.

If we are a priesthood, if we are intermediaries, we are meant to be mediators of God’s love.  This is a priesthood that does not require silk brocade.  Street clothes will work just as well.  This is a priesthood that does not require a marble altar with silver chalices and fine linen.  Any time, any place, any situation will work just as well.

If we are mediators of Christ’s love, we too are priests forever. It’s an always and everywhere kind of thing—an always and everywhere and everyone kind of thing.

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