Daily Reflection for Thursday, March 26, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link: Click Here
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Exodus 32: 7-14
Responsorial: Psalm 106:19-23
Gospel: John 5: 31-47
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
“But I have testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father gave me to accomplish,
these works that I perform testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me … But you do not want to come to me to have life.” John 5: 36, 40
In today’s Gospel, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for not listening to God’s word and not recognizing him as being sent by God. They were the most educated figures in Jewish society who were familiar with the Scriptures and the prophets. They were the ones who should recognize Jesus and yet they miss it entirely even when He tells them point blank as He does in today’s reading!
There are so many instances in the Scriptures where the Pharisees are painted as complete fools who blindly reject Jesus out of willful ignorance or jealousy. Growing up, I always thought these guys were a bunch of idiots, but as I grew older I began to relate to them far more than I was comfortable admitting to myself.
Like the Pharisees, I sometimes get bogged down in the details and minutia and miss the big picture. I fulfill the letter of the law, but miss the point of the law. I judge others for bad behavior and get angry with others for their failures, only to realize that I am being judgmental just as the Pharisees were. It makes me wonder, like the Pharisees, would I miss Jesus if He came to us today? Would I accept Him if he showed up and didn’t fit my preconceived notion of what He should be? How would I know it’s Him? Surely He doesn’t look like all those Renaissance paintings!
I’d like to think that I would know Him; but as a student of history, there have been countless men and women over the centuries who have been duped by others claiming to be the Second Coming of Jesus. How did their followers not see that these pretenders were not the Way, the Truth, and the Life? Jesus gives us a clear answer: look to God’s Word and at the works of Jesus. These false prophets--David Koresh, Jim Jones and the like—were motivated by human vanities—power, greed, and lust. They were not ambassadors of love—healing the sick, visiting the prisoner, and caring for widows and orphans.
The Second Coming is not likely to happen today, but Jesus does come to us daily. Since He is in each of us, we have the chance to be in His presence daily. He is in those who are scared, suffering, and lost. He is in our neighbors, co-workers, and the stranger we pass on the street. Do we take the opportunity to be with Him? Today look for the chance to be with Him, to talk to Him, to embrace Him.
Peace and blessings,