The Gospel according to John (John10:31-42)
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.
Opening Prayer: Lord, as I begin these moments of prayer, reaffirm in my heart that I belong to you. I am a child of the Almighty!
Encountering Christ: There certainly are many times in our busy lives that we feel as though our coworkers, friends and even family members, are throwing “stones” as us. It might be because of a recent decision we made or even go back in time in our relationships to where a disagreement arose or some other conflict.
In todays gospel reading the Jews were not only divided in their thinking but their very belief in their Law and of God. They were so caught up in the “Law” that they lost sight of the Christ in their midst. In the two thousand plus years that have past, we must ask ourselves “has anything really changed.”
Jesus cured the sick, gave sight to the blind, preached the good news – you get the point! The problem was – and still remains to this day – we often focus on worldly things OR on the rules and not so much on the human condition. Jesus healed people as part of his Father’s mission. He preached the good news about the Father’s love and mercy, and yet the people around Jesus could not see and accept this new way of life.
We are called today to emerge from Lent and even the pandemic, to be a people who are SUMMONED by God to bring forgiveness to a world that has a real problem in forgiving itself and one another. We are called to be the witnesses of love and compassion for those who have no one to care for them and to reach out and cure the injustices that are occurring around us every day.
The deeper question is – how do we do that OR how are we called by God to help in the vineyard of this world.
We are called to a much deeper relationship with God through prayer! Simple – but not easy to do! We only have to look back on our own lives to see how Jesus and the Father have blessed us. We are called to experience these blessings and then transform them into more blessings to be shared with those we contact every day. We must not allow the distractions or obstacles of our lives cause us to loose sight of the prize in our midst – Jesus and the Father!
We must stay focused and not loose sight of our life mission.
Remember this: “The Mission is the main thing, and the main thing IS the Mission!
As we approach this Holy Week, take time to focus on the blessings this Lent has brought you….perhaps more time with God in prayer or, even in our weekly fasting, a greater hunger for God and His goodness. Remember too that when we receive – we must give! It is part of the human lifecycle of relationship, fellowship and commitment to being a better version of ourselves and a better servant of God!
Closing Prayer: When I experience struggles, help me to look back on what you have done for me. You make me who I am. I am your beloved child. I am resistant to all obstacles when I remember this.
Action for the Day: Sit and think of three things that you could do for God. Think of things that seem too difficult for you to tackle. Now stop and pray for God’s guidance and resolve. After that, see which of the three God is asking you to do AND DO IT!
Let’s work together for the Greater Glory!