Friday, March 18th – Sr. Denis Rodrique O.Carm.
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.
The Jewish Feast of Dedication is also called the Festival of Lights or Hanukkah. This feast was held in December, near the time we celebrate Christmas. This is the time of the year when the day is the shortest and the night the longest. Jesus used this occasion to declare that he is the true light of the world (John 8:12).
In this light we can see who God truly is and we can find the true path to heaven. Jesus teaches us of his tremendous trust in God his Father, and the kind of trust we should have in him, our Good Shepherd. Jesus offers us an abiding relationship with the Father as members of his flock. He promises us security of peace and protection from evil and the greatest harm than can happen to us: eternal destruction.
God does not spare us from problems in this life. In this life we will experience pain, suffering, and death. However, through these sufferings, Jesus will lead us to final victory and safety when he will welcome us into his everlasting home. Even in the midst of suffering we can find peace and assurance which no one can give except God alone.
The gift of faith enables us to follow Jesus with confidence wherever he leads us. It is trust in his promise that nothing can keep us from God that enables us to accept whatever crosses that may come our way.
Today, I will reflect on this question: Will I place my life securely where it belongs – in the hands of a loving Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Reflect on why Jesus was charged with blasphemy when he claimed that he is the Son of God. Blasphemy, according to the Law of Moses meant the death penalty. When I am accused of wrong doing, can I like Jesus pose the question he did to his accusers: “If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” Unlike Jesus, we may not be able to escape as he did, but we need to remember that in the end he did face the death penalty. He offered his life so that we may have life in him – life eternal. Just before he was sentenced to death he prayed for his disciples that his Father would keep them in his love – not only for them did he pray, but for all who would come to believe in him.
How many people are on Death Row for a crime that have not committed! How few are declared innocent after 30 or 40 years in prison! It may be a good thing to pray for those condemned to Death Row unjustly that their innocence may be known. We pray also for anyone who suffers injustice.
We adore you, O Christ and we praise you, because by your Holy Cross you have redeemed the world!
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