The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint John Baptist de la Salle, Priest
The one who comes from above is above all.
The one who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of earthly things.
But the one who comes from heaven is above all.
He testifies to what he has seen and heard,
but no one accepts his testimony.
Whoever does accept his testimony certifies that God is trustworthy.
For the one whom God sent speaks the words of God.
He does not ration his gift of the Spirit.
The Father loves the Son and has given everything over to him.
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life,
but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life,
but the wrath of God remains upon him.
Reflection (Sem. Arnel Calata, Jr.)
Today’s Gospel is a continuation of John the Baptist’s testimony on the divinity of Jesus. A person testifies and stands for someone not just because he or she is a friend but because there is a certain level of faith in the truth that that person says and lives out. In the case of St. John the Baptist, the precursor of Jesus, we know that they are cousins. They may have been together at some point in their lives that made John to be firm in the character and the person of Jesus. There must have been a very intimate relationship between him and Jesus for him to testify about who Jesus really is.
For us, followers of Jesus, we are called also to a certain kind of intimacy with Jesus so that we can be firm in presenting who He really is. Our words can testify to Him but our testimony can only have its firm foundation if we have a relationship with Jesus. Our words must be coupled with our actions. The way we live is a more potent testimony of who really Jesus is in our lives. It is only through our intimate relationship and union with Christ that we can make Him known to others. It will exude naturally if we continue to nurture this relationship whit Jesus. Our deep faith in Him elicits in us that trusting confidence in God. It is a continuous choice to be with Him that we can truly get hold of salvation. Thus, we can say that to testify to Jesus is deeply rooted in the acceptance of Jesus in our lives. “To accept” is very much akin to the term “faith.” It is both personally receiving Christ and following Him and accepting the truths and doctrines involved in the Gospel. In a nutshell, to accept Jesus is to have faith in Him.