April 5, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Saturday of the Fourth Week of Lent 

John 7:40-53

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.

Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.):

     When I was young and just starting to read the bible, I came across to this verse, John 7:40, and I wonder why these people were divided. Although all of them heard the word of Jesus, not all have believed and some of them even wanted to arrest Him. I find these people strange especially the Pharisees and priests because they still do not believe on His words considering that they are wiser and more prayerful than the ordinary people.

     After reading this Gospel for quite a number of times, I realized that the people on that time is not far from the characteristics of the people of this generation. The truth has been presented to them and yet keeps on denying the reality. This may not only be about our faith but also in our day-to-day experiences. I remember a friend of mine who happened to be so depressed because he was experiencing difficulties in life. He had problems with his finances, relationships with family and health. He was not able to see the truth that God is always present at his sight especially during the time of trials. After the storm, he eventually realized that he was blessed with friends who never leave his side and there were people who had helped him to find a job and he discovered a natural herbal medicine for his health condition. Indeed, God never left his side, He never gave up on him.

     The truth is, God is always there for all of us especially during the times of difficulties. We have the tendency to deny His presence whenever we are facing struggles because of the pain that we are experiencing. The blessings of the Lord is presented in front of our eyes in different forms and yet we still deny its reality. Just like in our Gospel for today, the crowd seemed to be amazed on Jesus because of what they had heard but they still denied Him because of the influence of other people. Let us pray that we may not be shaken by our own problems and may we not be influenced by people who are like the Pharisees and priests who do not believe in His word, but instead, we continue to be amazed on what we have heard from Jesus and trust His loving guidance. Amen.

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