The Witnesses of Christ
Readings: 1st: Ex 32:7-14; Ps: 106; Gos: Jn 5:31-47
This brief reflection was written by Rev. Fr. Njoku Canice Chukwuemeka, C.S.Sp. He is a Catholic Priest and a Member of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers and Brothers (Spiritans). He is currently working with the Spiritan International Group of Puerto Rico & Dominican Republic. He is the Administrator of Parroquia La Resurrección del Senor, Canovanas and the Chancellor of the Diocesis of Fajardo-Humacao, Puerto Rico. For more details and comments contact him on: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
In today’s gospel, the Jewish authorities rejected Christ because, they were ignorant that the one they were waiting for was already among them. So, they not only rejected His testimony concerning Himself, they set aside the testimony of John the Baptist. They equally rejected the testimony of the work of Christ, of His Father, and of the Scriptures. Because of this, they are the ones who should be accused.
Those who are accusing Jesus will be accused, but not by Jesus. Their accusation will come from Moses, the one they revere, whose law they impose on themselves and others, as they interpreted it. This is because, they have placed their hope in Moses and in the law given by Moses, yet without believing their testimony about Christ.
What they do not see, however, is that Jesus perfectly fulfills what Moses wrote about him. Their devotion to Moses is seen in the dialogue between the Jews and the blind man to whom Jesus gives his sight.
Why did they reject Christ? They did because of their unbelief. This made it impossible for them not to take advantage of the opportunity before them. Christ was not looking for their praise. Rather, he was only trying to help them avoid the imminent punishment that was about to befall them because of their actions and unbelief.
He knew that His Father deserves all the credit for anything that exists. So, knowing and accepting this is indeed a quick path to holiness. Jesus is God, but he leaves us a splendid example of how man should search for God’s glory and not his own.
So, in today’s Gospel, Christ emphasizes that, how like the Jews, many of us are for the meaning and value of life in the wrong places. Hence, they commit much errors in life, by losing the opportunity to save themselves.
So, if one feels that he has been gifted with friendship of Jesus, he must thank the Lord for that treasure.
Also, we have to thank God for the people and circumstances He has used to help one find Him. Our faith is a very precious gift. We must not forget that the way we live our faith can also be an avenue of grace for others.
Peace be with you all!