The Gospel for today reminds me of the instances in my life that made me reflect on my relationship with God. Even before entering the seminary, I have been addressing God in my prayers as Lord. I have this idea of God as a “police officer” who is your best friend and defender if you are following the law and your worst enemy if you are disobedient. This greatly changed when we had our Radical Conversion subject where we reflected on the common images that people use when relating to God. Recently, a friend priest shared to me his experience when he guided the clergy and religious in Spiritual Direction courses by first asking, “Who is Jesus to you?” He shared that many of his students responded “Jesus is my God and my Savior!” which was not at all surprising. But the more important question, according to him, is how we relate with God.
We hear in today’s Gospel the many discussions on who Jesus is. Those who heard His words have varied opinions about who He is. This season of Lent, we should also ask ourselves, “Who is Jesus to me?” Knowing facts about Him is not enough. We can really know about God by spending time with Him. One has to listen, reflect, and dialogue with Him in order to know Him deeper and in effect, know ourselves better. It is also good to ask ourselves, “Do I spend time with Him in prayer even during difficult and trying times? Do I visit Him in the Church even outside the celebration of the Mass?”
As a priest-in-process, I am invited by today’s Gospel to maintain a constant conversation with God. This conversation, no matter how long or short, as long as it is consistent, should always lead me to get to know God more and more especially about His great love, grace, and mercy.
By Sem. Justin Gatus
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.