Jeremiah 20.10-13; Psalm 17; John 10.31-42
Again, on a fresh occasion, Jesus faces a crowd who threaten to stone him for blasphemy; and again he eludes them. He unites his words and deeds to those of his heavenly Father, who he proclaims has consecrated [him] and sent [him] into the world.
To be an apostle is to be sent: sent on a mission, sent with a message. Jesus unites himself to the whole tradition of Prophecy in Israel, and every prophet is a spokesman for God.
The language of consecration, though, is language about priesthood. Jesus has come into the world not simply to endure the opprobrium that was the lot of every legitimate prophet: he has come to make the suffering that God’s representatives inevitably suffer into an act of sacrifice. He is the Breath of Life set loose in the world; by laying down that life (for no one can take it from him) he fills every child of Adam with life worthy of the name. As Jesus goes to the Cross, the Father is in him and he is in the Father. By his Passion he frees us, by his wounds he makes us whole. [Isaiah 53.5] His priestly sacrifice (sacrum facere) makes us holy, makes us not just in virtue but in fact the children of God.