In this week's gospel Jesus says, "What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” In these words Jesus seems to be pointing to something foundational about his identity, something that is beyond the reach and influence of the powerful people who stand before him. For him to say that "the Father and I are one," is to proclaim that his deepest identity is more than what he does, what he says, how much he knows, or how many people are following him. In these words, Jesus is pointing to a truth not just about his identity, but everyone's identity. He is more than the label of "messiah" that the religious leaders and others in his community want to put on him. He is more than what they want him to be, and who they have told him he is supposed to be. He knows that this is true not just for himself but for every single person standing with him that day, and for every one of us now. This week, pay attention to your own sense of identity. What are the deepest, most foundational truths of that identity? Who have you been told that you are supposed to be? Who have been the people in your life that have tried to put labels on you that did not fit? Who are the people that have helped you discover your truest self? Take some time to share with one another, and check in about your week of reflection the next time you gather.
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