November 20, 2022
March 31, 2022
Thursday of the Fourth Week of Lent
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?”
Today, as we continue our Journey of Lent, we also continue the story of Salvation. Jesus is trudging resolutely to Calvary where he will die for OUR sins.
As Catholics we have the crucifix – not a bare cross. I know the empty cross is signifying his victory – but we cannot forget what he suffered – thus the crucifix which is a reminder to us he didn’t just wave a wand. He died a horrific death to get our sins forgiven.
Jesus is continuing the Gospel from yesterday – explaining to the Pharisees who he is. He is explaining that the Pharisees are looking in the wrong places for Salvation. It is standing right in front of them.
But for the Pharisees, Sadducees and the Scribes are fixated on the words – the laws. That is why they invoke Moses – the Law Giver.
Brothers and Sisters, the law was given as guideposts lest we lose our way along the path. They were never meant to be the means to Salvation. It is what we do along the Path that brings us to Salvation. It is what Jesus does that will bring us Home.
Do you remember why Jesus is having to give this explanation? It is because he healed a man – crippled for 38 years – on the Sabbath. That, according to the truly blind Pharisees – was interpreted to be against the Law.
I believe we have become those Pharisees today. We look for what we are supposed to do in words. The Old Testament scriptures don’t hold the answer to saving us. It points to what will save us – Jesus. Salvation is found in the New Testament in the Words of the Word of God.
Jesus isn’t just speaking to the Pharisees standing there in front of him but to all of us.
We are to whom he speaks.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…