"I AM" is the name God revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai (Ex 3:14). In that context, the name "I AM" carried the image of unapproachable majesty and holiness. Moses was not permitted to approach God, the "I AM," unless he removed the sandals from his feet (Ex 3:5). When the mob approached Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane to arrest Him, He identified Himself as "I am" (Jn 18:5). "When He said to them, 'I am,' " the mob fell down, powerless before Him (Jn 18:6).
When people testified falsely against Jesus, He was silent and answered nothing (Mk 14:60-61). Yet when Jesus was asked if He was "the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One," He answered, "I am" (Mk 14:62). Jesus was now identifying Himself as God Almighty in the setting of humility, trial, suffering, and rejection. Throughout Mark's Gospel, Jesus did not allow people to spread His identity when He displayed His sovereign power and healed them (Mk 1:34, 44; 3:12; 8:26; 9:9). Yet now, in this setting of humility and suffering, He declares openly His true identity.
Jesus does not want any confusion. He is a Suffering Servant, a crucified and rejected Messiah. His kingship is proclaimed as He hangs upon His cross. This Holy Week, come to know Jesus as He desires to be known: as God, as King, as Suffering Servant, as Messiah, and as Son of God (Mk 15:39).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from April 1, 2012 through May 31, 2012.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, October 31, 2011.