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Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent 
Lectionary: 254

Reading 1GN 17:3-9

When Abram prostrated himself, God spoke to him:“My covenant with you is this:you are to become the father of a host of nations.No longer shall you be called Abram;your name shall be Abraham,for I am making you the father of a host of nations.I will render you exceedingly fertile;I will make nations of you;kings shall stem from you.I will maintain my covenant with youand your descendants after youthroughout the ages as an everlasting pact,to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.I will give to youand to your descendants after youthe land in which you are now staying,the whole land of Canaan, as a permanent possession;and I will be their God.”
God also said to Abraham:“On your part, you and your descendants after youmust keep my covenant throughout the ages.”
This is the Covenant of Circumcision which God struck with Abraham.  Notice that He changed his name from Abram to Abraham at this time. 

Responsorial PsalmPS 105:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8a) The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.Look to the LORD in his strength;
seek to serve him constantly.
Recall the wondrous deeds that he has wrought,
his portents, and the judgments he has uttered.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
God always remembers His promises.  Remember the wonderful things He has done.  Turn to the Lord when are in need.  Obey His Word always.

You descendants of Abraham, his servants,
sons of Jacob, his chosen ones!
He, the LORD, is our God;
throughout the earth his judgments prevail.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
You who are children of Abraham and sons of Jacob, are chosen of God!  He is God our Lord in the whole world.
He remembers forever his covenant
which he made binding for a thousand generations –
Which he entered into with Abraham
and by his oath to Isaac.
R. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
God always keeps His Word.  His Word remains forever.  God always remembers His promises to Abraham and Isaac. 

GospelJN 8:51-59

Jesus said to the Jews:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever keeps my word will never see death.” 
Jesus said to the Jews, "whoever obeys my words will never die."

So the Jews said to him,
“Now we are sure that you are possessed.
Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say,
‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’
Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? 
Or the prophets, who died?Who do you make yourself out to be?”  
And they said, "Now we are sure you are crazy.  The prophets all died and so did our Patriarch, Abraham.  Are you greater than he or they?"

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing;
but it is my Father who glorifies me,
of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’
You do not know him, but I know him.
And if I should say that I do not know him,
I would be like you a liar.
But I do know him and I keep his word.
Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day;
he saw it and was glad.” 
Jesus said in reply, "I don't glorify myself, but my Father in heaven glorifies me.  You say that He is your God.  But you don't know Him.  And I do.  If I said that I didn't, I would be a liar. But I do know Him and I keep His Word.  Abraham, your father rejoiced when I was born."

So the Jews said to him,
“You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?”
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
before Abraham came to be, I AM.”
So they picked up stones to throw at him;
but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.

And they said, "You are not even fifty years old and you claim to have seen Abraham?"  And Jesus replied, "Assuredly, I tell you, before Abraham was conceived in his mother's womb, "I AM".  So they picked up stones to kill Him.  But Jesus hid and left the Temple unharmed.

The reason they wanted to kill Him is because He called Himself God.  God is the great I AM:

Exodus 3:14
King James Version (KJV)
14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.

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