Fr. Gerard D’Souza, OCSO
5th Wednesday in Lent
If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples. The word remain, abide is a very important word for St John from the very beginning of his gospel. The Son is in, He abides in the bosom of the Father. The Word became flesh and pitched His tent among us. By becoming flesh he remains, He abides forever God with us. When the very first disciples follow Jesus and are asked ‘What are you looking for? Their answer was not – we seek love or knowledge, or wisdom. Rabbi where do you abide? And the Gospel says that they went and saw where he stayed and they remained with him that day. Nothing more is said except about the abode and the abiding. The whole point being that goal of our life is not an accumulation of wisdom or knowledge or power. It is for our person to abide in the person of Christ Jesus and with Him in the person of the Father in whose bosom He abides. This is home ultimately. The element of personal interpenetration is supreme. It is the new dispensation unlike any other dispensation that came before it and any other that will come after it. It is the Sabbath rest creation is groaning for but does not know how to achieve. The Son now shows us what this is – If you remain in my word.
To abide in Christ means to choose not to abide somewhere else. And we can only do this if Christ is enough for us. We usually spread ourselves thin – grasping at every straw because while we profess Christ is enough for us, our actions show we lie – we hedge our bets and get insurance policies – our honor, our glory, our pleasure, our comfort. We keep options open. We spread ourselves over a million things hoping to grasp the one thing necessary and end up exhausted. We dare not put off into the deep because we are afraid that Christ might not be enough. So we play at the shallow end of the pool and remain dissipated.
We forget that in His Word, the inexhaustible Father has poured everything out. There is nothing more to give. The Word is not exhausted. It is we who are exhausted and cynical. The word remains inexhaustible – in it God has given us everything we could ever want or desire for every time and every season. All times and all seasons belong to it. That is why the Word is ever fresh and ever new and ever ready to renew us if we but dare to abide in it – ‘the word is near you, on your lips and in your heart.’