Thursday (April 3): The Father's witness

Meditation: Do you know the joy of the gospel and a life fully submitted to Jesus Christ? Jesus’ opponents refused to accept his divine authority and claim to be the only begotten Son from the Father. They demanded evidence for his Messianic claim and equality with God. Jesus answers their charges with the supporting evidence of witnesses. The law of Moses had laid down the principle that the unsupported evidence of one person shall not prevail against a man for any crime or wrong in connection with any offence he committed (see Deuteronomy 17:6). At least two or three witnesses were needed. Jesus begins his defense by citing John the Baptist as a witness, since John publicly pointed to Jesus as the Messiah and had repeatedly borne witness to him (see John 1:19, 20, 26, 29, 35, 36). Jesus also asserts that a greater witness to his identity are the signs and miracles he performed. He cites his works, not to point to himself but to point to the power of God working in and through him. He cites God the Father as his supreme witness.

Jesus asserts that the scriptures themselves, including the first five books of Moses, point to him as the Messiah, the promised Savior. The problem with the scribes and Pharisees was that they did not believe what Moses had written. They desired the praise of their fellow humans and since they were so focused on themselves, they became blindsighted to God. They were so preoccupied with their own position as authorities and interpreters of the law that they became hardened and unable to  understand the word of God. Their pride made them deaf to God’s voice. Scripture tells us that God reveals himself to the lowly, to those who trust not in themselves, but who trust God and listen to God's word with an eagerness to learn and to obey. The Lord Jesus reveals to us the mind and heart of God. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit he opens our ears so that we may hear his voice and he fills our hearts and minds with the love and knowledge of God.

Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote: “As Christians, our task is to make daily progress toward God. Our pilgrimage on earth is a school in which God is the only teacher, and it demands good students, not ones who play truant. In this school we learn something every day. We learn something from commandments, something from examples, and something from sacraments. These things are remedies for our wounds and materials for study.” Are you an eager student of God’s word and do you listen to it with faith and trust?

"Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may listen to your word attentively and obey it joyfully."


This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/