Skip to main content

Lent 5th S,April3,11

Lent 5th S, April 3,11

(Jn.8:12-20)

In today’s Gospel, Jesus speaks about his identity with God the Father and speaks of himself as the Light of the World, the Savior, who has come to redeem mankind. He calls upon his listeners to understand His identity and commit themselves to Him.

The inner area of the Temple contained three Courts. The Easternmost court was the Court of the Women and it contained the Temple treasury. During the Feast of Tabernacles when all the Jews were expected to come to Jerusalem and live in booths, remembering the time they spent in the desert, the Temple would be illuminated with lights and torches. Those lights also reminded them of their expectation of the coming of the Christ.

It is in the background of the lights, standing near the Treasury, during the festival days of the Feast of the Tabernacles, that Jesus announces himself as the Light of the world and asks his listeners to accept this light and not to walk in darkness.

The listeners are earthbound and they do not understand that Jesus is proclaiming himself as the Christ, the hope of their lives and the fulfillment of their dreams. Instead of opening the eyes of their minds and seeing Jesus as the Christ, they begin to question him as to his origin, identity etc. Jesus uses their own legal requirements (Dt.17:6) to show that he is not revealing these great truths on his own authority only but also on the authority of the God the Father. The Father is also testifying on his behalf through the works he is doing and the words he is uttering. To their query as to where his Father is, Jesus tells them that seeing him is seeing the Father. He and the Father are one. He reveals, thus, his identity with God the Father.

But their eyes remain closed. They do not want to accept the news of the salvation. They are unwilling to commit themselves to Jesus.

What does this passage mean for us? Is Jesus the light of our lives? Are we willing to walk in the light of our faith? Are we willing to commit ourselves to Jesus or are we looking for excuses to refuse to commit ourselves to Him?

The decision is ours to make. It is a personal decision. We have to make a choice. We have to decide whether we want to live according to the teachings of the Lord or according to the teachings of the world. Our commitment to Jesus would involve dramatic changes in our outlooks.

Often we don’t enjoy peace and joy in our lives because we are very arrogant and unforgiving. Most of the conflicts in the heart of our families do come from our arrogance and selfishness. We never give God a chance to remake our lives. We never examine our attitudes and decisions in the light of our faith in Jesus.

What is lacking in our lives is this willingness to walk in the light of faith in Jesus Christ. It is sad and disappointing that in spite of the great teachings of Jesus on love and forgiveness, Christians are very remiss in living according to those teachings. Churches and communities, parishes and religious organizations are too much pervaded by the spirit of the world and hence there exist too much division and antagonism among them. We don’t find our people compassionate and forgiving. The compassion and love that come ebbing out of the words of Jesus to the woman caught in adultery “ Don’t sin. I don’t condemn you” are absent from our spiritual vocabulary.

This Lent offers us a golden opportunity to reshape our attitudes and become people of great compassion and love.

Thomas Merton points out beautifully well the impact of love in the following words: “When we love the other, we obtain from God the key to our understanding of who he is and who we are.”

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Presentation in the Temple.Lk.2:21-35,Jan.2,11

In today’s reading from the Gospel, St. Luke gives an account of the Presentation of Jesus to the Lord at the Temple and the prophetic utterances of Simeon and Anna. According to Leviticus 12:1-8, the birth of a male child disqualifies an Israelite woman from touching any holy object or approaching the Temple for forty days. After that, she must offer sacrifice in Jerusalem. “Among the Jews, the first born sons belonged to the Lord. Those not of the tribe of Levi had to be redeemed—in the temple, to show that they continued to be God’s property.” (Navarre Bible,P.252)When a woman had borne a child, she had to come to the Temple after 40 days for purification. She had to bring a lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon for a sin offering. If she could not afford the lamb, she was permitted to bring another pigeon. As Mary and Joseph were poor, they brought two pigeons.
But their presentation of Jesus at the Temple became an occasion for Simeon to prophesy that Jesus would bring salvation …

Easter 6th S,May 29,11

Easter 6thS,May 29,11 Easter 6thS,.May 29,11(Jn.17:21-26)Cardinal Bernardin in an essay on “How can I find God” speaks about his habits of prayer. He has often, he says, given talks on prayer but neverspent much time in personal prayer. When he shared this dilemma with some of his priest-friends, they advised him to act on his desire and set apart an hour in the morning for prayer. With their encouragement and support, he resolved to devote an hour each day to prayer. He says: “During the early days of this new habit of prayer, I began to realize how often I had looked elsewhere for God rather than right in the midst of each day’s journey.” He adds further that he has constantly “tried to enter into closer communion with God through prayer. This search for union, he says, has been “an exciting,life-giving, sustaining experience.”In today’s Gospel, which is the third part of the Priestly Prayer of Jesus, we hear the deep yearning of Jesus for the bond of unity that should exist among a…

Easter 7th S,June 5,11

Easter 7th S, May 5,11(Mk.16:9-20)Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVl in his new book, “Light of the World”, speaks of the presence of a new mindset that he calls as “negative tolerance” in many Catholics which somehow, for the sake of not offending anyone, undervalues the teachings of Christ. According to the Holy Father, Christians are very shy of speaking about their faith or of witnessing to Christ in public life.Public arena is full of people who somehow think that it is all right to ignore the meaning and significance of the Christian faith. Christians move around without in any way revealing their faith or their attachment to Christ.One of America’s foremost novelists, Walker Percy once said that Christians proclaim that they have the Gospel but they go around as if they have the bad news.This lethargy in the witness to our faith should be examined in the background of today’s Gospel where Jesus proclaims the need to preach the Gospel as a bounden duty of every believer in Him. Toda…