The Gospel According to John (5:17-30)
Jesus answered the Jews: “My Father is at work until now, so I am at work.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the Sabbath but he also called God his own Father, making himself equal to God. Jesus answered and said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, the Son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for what he does, the Son will do also. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything that he himself does, and he will show him greater works than these, so that you may be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives life, so also does the Son give life to whomever he wishes. Nor does the Father judge anyone, but he has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation, but has passed from death to life. Amen, amen, I say to you, the hour is coming and is now here when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in himself, so also he gave to the Son the possession of life in himself. And he gave him power to exercise judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, because the hour is coming in which all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and will come out, those who have done good deeds to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked deeds to the resurrection of condemnation. I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”
Reflection: John’s narrative in this Gospel passage demonstrates how strong Jesus’ conviction is to the Father. His confidence and sincerity proves that He is truly the divine Son of God showing that the Father and the Son are in complete unison.
As we continue on our Lenten journey, we can see that Jesus is pushing the envelope with the Pharisees by his narrative as He professes His connection with God His Father. He tells them of the events that will occur in the coming weeks, not only for himself but also for everyone who has died as well and being judged by the Son by their good deeds.
A Christian paradox is that even though Jesus is God and holds the same authority as God the Father, he does not seek to do his own will, but only the Father’s will. He acts with perfect obedience, “And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8). Being obedient to the Father’s will is necessary for all Christians: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). We can imitate Jesus’ obedience by continuing our time in silent prayer to hear and discern what the Father’s will is for us.
When we are obedient, we demonstrate our love for God: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Obedience to God’s will also brings us peace. When we do what God wills in our lives, we can be at peace, resting in the knowledge that we are being obedient to his plan. God is the one who knows and always wills what is good for others and as well as for us.
Action of the Day: Today let us submit ourselves to God’s holy will, and ask for His forgiveness for the times when we have been disobedient to and rebelled against God’s authority. Let us always ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks us for a reason for hope and do it with gentleness and reverence. (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). Help us to listen and become more obedient to what God the Father is calling each of us to do every day.