The Gospel According to John (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: “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no amount of proof is enough.” This quote is attributed to St. Ignatius Loyola.This quote came to mind after reading this Gospel. In this Gospel, there are two groups of people, each with very different reactions towards Jesus. The first group of people were those who did not believe Jesus was the Messiah. These people were not moved by his miracles, nor by his preaching. Their hearts and minds were completely closed to Jesus. They tried to stone Jesus, they argued with him, accused him of blasphemy, and tried to arrest him. No amount of proof was enough for them to believe. The second group of people came to Jesus and began to believe him because his works, preaching, and the words of John the Baptist. Their hearts and minds were open to Jesus’ works and words. This group did not need proof because they believed. I believe all those reading this reflection fall into the second group. We have the benefit of knowing that Jesus, though crucified, has risen from the dead. But there may be times when that knowledge does not affect our day-to-day attitudes. When we are going through difficulties, encouraging words from a friend may ring hollow and we may find our faith fading. We may struggle to believe. It is at this time that we fix our eyes on Jesus’ words and works, especially his resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection is the proof that we can hang onto and help us to believe.
Action for the day: Lent is almost over. Holy Week is about to begin. Were we able to keep our Lenten promises? If we did, great, thank God. If not, start anew this Holy Week. Ask our Lord to strengthen our faith as we accompany him this Holy Week.