FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fifth Friday of Lent, April 12, 2019
WORD of the DAY
The Jews again picked up rocks to stone him. 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 gods those 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. (John 10: 31-42)
How shall I live this Word?
As witnessed by the stones ready to be hurled at Jesus, the respective positions of the Jews and the Nazarene remain opposite and irreconcilable, not only in the scorching polemic of the moment but above all because of a radically different perspective for seeing God and seeing the man. When Jesus cites Ps 82 to them, he invites them to reflect that Scripture calls “gods” those who stand as judges. Before blaming Jesus for blasphemy, they should realize that they first took the place of the Most High, addicted as they were to sitting on the high-backed chairs of judgment! Their accusation turns back on themselves: despite being men they become gods, while Jesus was consecrated as such by the Father and was sent into the world. By appealing to God, they can only delude themselves that they know him, while Jesus can invoke him as Father. Thanks to Jesus and that ‘in’ Jesus the God of the Law can respond to the appeal of that ‘You’ which gives meaning to life, from which everything is received, and in view of which everything is fulfilled.
Jesus invites us to look at the goodness of the works to draw a value judgment from them. Today I want to commit myself to persevere in doing good, even if my reason were to put forward some doubts, and even if there were no immediate positive feedback from others.
THE VOICE OF Calvino, Poet
Only by being so radically Himself as He was until death could He give something to all women and men.
Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, Via dell’Ateneo Salesiano 81, 00139 Rome, Italy
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Comment by Fr. Enrico Emili