The Path to Discernment

April 7, 2017

Friday of the 5th Week of Lent

Today’s Gospel

Jn 10: 31-42

The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus.
Jesus answered them, “I have shown you many good works from my Father.
For which of these are you trying to stone me?”
The Jews answered him,
“We are not stoning you for a good work but for blasphemy.
You, a man, are making yourself God.”
Jesus answered them,
“Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, ‘You are gods”‘?
If it calls them gods to whom the word of God came,
and Scripture cannot be set aside,
can you say that the one
whom the Father has consecrated and sent into the world
blasphemes because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?
If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me;
but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me,
believe the works, so that you may realize and understand
that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”
Then they tried again to arrest him;
but he escaped from their power.

He went back across the Jordan
to the place where John first baptized, and there he remained.
Many came to him and said,
“John performed no sign,
but everything John said about this man was true.”
And many there began to believe in him.

Reflection (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)

What makes a person not to believe? Is it because of his different ideals and ideas? Or is it because he has a better perspective? Believing is allowing one’s self to be vulnerable to the given fact or truth. You will never believe a lie but rather you will just be deceived by it. In a way, believing is also part of a give and take process. It is given, but the other person have the decision of receiving it or despising it.

Jesus is the source of all truth. He will never utter any lie or deception just to make people believe in Him. He moves heart by showing compassion. He opens the mind by preaching and teaching. He restores by forgiving sins, healing or exorcism. Everything that He does are clear manifestations of who He is – His identity and His mission. But the Jews tried to stone Him because of accusation of blasphemy that they themselves do not understand. Their action is an urge of their pride, envy and rigidity that they cannot recognize the wonders that had come to them and to the people. We too have our own instances of being controlled by ourselves or being full of ourselves. This leads us to difficulty in understanding and listening, especially in discerning on what is it telling us – what is my call?

In the seminary formation, feedback giving is essential especially in helping each other to be aware of the unnecessary or unconscious actions and words that we manifest. Feedbacks will always have truth and lesson that we need to discern. But we will never see their value if at the first place we reject or do not become objective about them. Maybe because of avoidance of pain or hurt, showing of vulnerability, or weakness. The Jews did not want to be lesser than Jesus that is why they failed to listen and have an open mind. Jesus, despite those accusations, did not do the same, rather He listened and tried to make them understand. But a person who closes his door for feedback will never receive that understanding. Have we done the same thing to our brothers or sisters?

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