Scripture: 1st Reading: Ex32,7-14; Resp. Psalm: Ps106,19-23; Gosp. Accl.: Jn3,16; Gospel: Jn5,31-47
Many of us would never want anyone to say things about us. We are afraid someone might reveal something about us that we would rather want to be kept secret. We are also sometime uneasy about people's testimonies because of misrepresentation and falsehood. We think people do not know us enough to be in a position to give such testimonies. Many times, we are also not comfortable to let people into our way of life and what we do. We cannot put them up to testify to how good we are. We prefer them to be occulted and hidden forever.
This is why our Lord said it that by their fruits you shall know them. Today our Lord brought out two "fruits" to justify Himself: the witness of John and the witness of the works He did. The works He did, which the Father granted Him to accomplish, bore Him greater testimony that the Father sent Him.
The people refused to acknowledge Him. The refused the witness that the Father bore to Him. They refused to accept the Scriptures that bore Him witness and in which they would have found eternal life. He came in His Father's name and yet they rejected Him. They did not believe because they received glory from one another and did not seek the glory that came from God.
The refusal of the people to accept our Lord was a repeat of what they did to the word of Yahweh which He spoke by the mouth of Moses, His chosen servant. The people abandoned the word of God's servant, became impatient, corrupted themselves and committed apostasy. They made a molten calf and worshipped it. They disobeyed the voice of their God and played the harlot after idolatry and other gods. But for Moses, who stood in the breach for them, the people would have been consumed by Yahweh's wrath.
Fundamental to the word of God today is obedience to what God commanded. The people refused assent of faith to the words of our Lord. They closed their minds and hearts to God's words spoken by Him. Like the people of old, they were stiff necked in disobedience. What of us today? Lent is a time that recalls us back to obedience. We are invited to abandon our hard hearted ways and submit ourselves under the authority of God. We are called to do great deeds that can testify on our behalf. We are called to live the life of God by turning our backs on sin. Are we ready to do this today?
Today, the word calls us to examine ourselves to know the various molten calves we have fashioned for ourselves: fame, popularity, wanting to please others, materialism and wanting to possess everything, wealth, pleasure, immoralities, greed, selfishness, pride, vengeance, lack of forgiveness. They are more than these. The word calls us to examine our consciences and dismantle these idols that we have fashioned for ourselves. God wants to help us today. Are we ready to offer Him our cooperation?
Let us pray: "We invoke your mercy in humble prayer, O Lord, that you may cause us, your servants, corrected by penance and schooled by good works, to persevere sincerely in your commands and come safely to the paschal festivities." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.