6 April 2019. Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Reflection (Sem. Rodel D.O. Aclan)
The Jewish authorities had a problem accepting Jesus as the Christ despite the many testimonies of the people and the witness of his own words and deeds. The cause of their unbelief was the place where the Messiah is suppose to come. But as we know from other New Testament passages especially the Gospel accounts, Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
Now we wonder, what could be the real reason why they cannot accept Him? Could it be that they were threatened by his commanding presence? Jesus’ popularity endangered their moral and religious authority over the people that would eventually deny them of their privileged status in the society.
As seminarians, we are always reminded that as future pastors we should not allow ourselves to become the center of the people’s attention but to Jesus alone. All that we do must always lead people to Jesus.
I think, this constant reminder is necessary because the temptation to become the center of people’s attention is very strong. The people who are thirsty and hungry for spiritual nourishment can look the priest as the source of their nourishment rather than a co – journeyer in their spiritual pilgrimage. This temptation, in a very subtle way, can engulf a priest without even knowing that he had fallen to this temptation.
But we are not totally defenseless against this temptation. Jesus had given us the solution, the antidote – self-denial. To know Jesus and follow Him as a disciple not only demands that we lead people to make Him the center of their lives but first and foremost, we ourselves, He must be the center of ours.
The Gospel Today
Some in the crowd who heard these words of Jesus said,
“This is truly the Prophet.”
Others said, “This is the Christ.”
But others said, “The Christ will not come from Galilee, will he?
Does not Scripture say that the Christ will be of David’s family
and come from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?”
So a division occurred in the crowd because of him.
Some of them even wanted to arrest him,
but no one laid hands on him.
So the guards went to the chief priests and Pharisees,
who asked them, “Why did you not bring him?”
The guards answered, “Never before has anyone spoken like this man.”
So the Pharisees answered them, “Have you also been deceived?
Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him?
But this crowd, which does not know the law, is accursed.”
Nicodemus, one of their members who had come to him earlier, said to them,
“Does our law condemn a man before it first hears him
and finds out what he is doing?”
They answered and said to him,
“You are not from Galilee also, are you?
Look and see that no prophet arises from Galilee.”
Then each went to his own house.