Thursday, March 26, 2009

Your accuser will be Moses, in whom you place your hope.

Jesus said to the Jews: “If I were just speaking on my own account that would be an unreliable, self-serving witness. But there is another witness who can testify on my behalf, and his testimony is the truth. Furthermore, you have all seen and heard John the Baptist, and his testimony is reliable, as well.

There is really no need for me to appeal to mere human testimony. John was a lamp, burning brightly, and you were happy to rejoice in his light. But the testimony of the witness I speak of is even more reliable than John.

I am doing the work the Father gave me to complete, and the deeds I perform conform that the Father has sent me. It is He who sent me, and who confirms my mission. But you have never heard his voice, or seen him. His word does not remain in your memory, because you never take his messengers seriously. You study the Scriptures, because you think you can find eternal life in them. The Scriptures are all about me, and here I am, standing before you and speaking to you, but you aren’t willing to accept from me the life you say you are searching for.

I’m not interested with people’s approval. Why? Because I know you, and you don’t have God’s love in you. I came with authority for my Father, but you either dismiss me or avoid me. Yet, if someone else came along in his own name, you would accept him. How can you say you believe, since you accept praise from one another, and don’t seek true praise, which comes only from God?

But, don’t think I’m about to accuse you before my Father. Your accuser will be Moses, in whom you place your hope. But, if you believed Moses, you would have believed me, because he wrote about me. If you don’t believe what he wrote, how can you believe what I say?

There seems to be something missing at the beginning of this gospel: a challenge, in the form of a question, from the Jews to Jesus: “Who bears witness to your claims?” Jesus cites four witnesses: John the Baptist, the works the Father entrusted to Jesus, the word of the Father himself, and the Scriptures. But they are blind to what they see, and deaf to what they hear. In another place, Jesus said of them, “And good enough for them, for if they saw with their eyes, and heard with their ears, they just might be converted!”

Lord, I am often blind and deaf to your presence in my day. I pray that you will forgive me, and heal me. Restore my sight and my hearing, so that I may able to recognize you at every moment of my day. Jesus, I realize that it is beyond my power to heal myself; I rely on your divine mercy. Amen.

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