March 14, 2013

The Gospel Today

Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent

Jn 5: 31-47

Jesus said to the Jews:
“If I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is not true.
But there is another who testifies on my behalf,
and I know that the testimony he gives on my behalf is true.
You sent emissaries to John, and he testified to the truth.
I do not accept human testimony,
but I say this so that you may be saved.
He was a burning and shining lamp,
and for a while you were content to rejoice in his light.
But I have testimony greater than John’s.
The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf
that the Father has sent me.
Moreover, the Father who sent me has testified on my behalf.
But you have never heard his voice nor seen his form,
and you do not have his word remaining in you,
because you do not believe in the one whom he has sent.
You search the Scriptures,
because you think you have eternal life through them;
even they testify on my behalf.
But you do not want to come to me to have life.

“I do not accept human praise;
moreover, I know that you do not have the love of God in you.
I came in the name of my Father,
but you do not accept me;
yet if another comes in his own name,
you will accept him.
How can you believe, when you accept praise from one another
and do not seek the praise that comes from the only God?
Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father:
the one who will accuse you is Moses,
in whom you have placed your hope.
For if you had believed Moses,
you would have believed me,
because he wrote about me.
But if you do not believe his writings,
how will you believe my words?”

Reflection (Sem. Alfredo O. Dimaano, Jr.)

As in a court room, the panel would judge the accused based on the testimonies of the witnesses. In today’s Gospel, Jesus, who seems to be standing on the accused stand, is backed by powerful testimonies: that of the Father’s, his own mighty works, and that of John the Baptist. Nevertheless, for those who do not believe, even such proofs were not convincing enough; they would not suffice for they were consumed by their own motives. Even God the Father, the “most credible witness” to His Son, had spoken and testified, but because there was hardness in our hearts, we were clouded with doubts.

Do I believe that much in Jesus? If so, do I believe because of the miracles He has performed or the noble things He has done? What if the answers to my petitions will not be accomplished the way I want them to be, can I still be a credible witness to Christ? Jesus needs no third party testimony for us to be convinced that He is the Son of God; He does not even boast about it.

Today, as the Church faces persecution as Jesus faced in His own time and even from His own people, the Church needs credible witnesses. I am challenged to testify by living my own faith and hopefully, through humble deeds, kind words, and sincere concern for people, Jesus’ name may be glorified and my desire to serve Him may attest to His goodness. I testify to God’s love when I myself show love. I testify to God’s mercy when I show forgiveness to those who have done me wrong. I testify to Jesus’ humility when I accept my faults and not regard myself

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