Again he said to them, “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” Then the Jews said, “Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?” He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” They said to him, “Who are you?”
Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak to you at all? I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he was speaking to them about the Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father instructed me. And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
When the evangelist John speaks of the “world,” he is not talking about our spinning blue and green planet. For him, the “world” is all that is fallen; it is that stubborn preference in our hearts for what is not life, not love, not God. When Jesus says that he is not from the world, he is not saying that he is some kind of extraterrestrial alien. He is saying that the preference and desires of his heart are only life, love, and God.
When Christ was lifted up, the cross became a sign for the whole world to see. The cross is a sign that God can work through anything, even failure. It is a sign that says when are our hearts are in God, all will be well. Nothing, no failure of ours, not even death, can separate us from life, from love, from God when we give our hearts to him.
What would it look like to place my heart in Christ’s and desire what Christ desires? What keeps me from accepting my failures and believing that God can work through them as well?
—Cyril Pinchak, S.J. is a first year theology student at Regis College in Toronto. He taught previously at University of Detroit High School & Academy in Detroit, MI.
Take, O take me as I am;
Summon out what I shall be;
Set your seal upon my heart,
and live in me.
—John L. Bell, © 1995 Iona Community, admin. GIA Publications, Inc.